Diana Nyad to attempt Cuba to Florida swim again at 62

As reported by CNN and Diana Nyad’s blog – the famed 62-year-old swimmer will attempt to swim 103 miles between Cuba and Florida on Sunday.   I was honored to be an official observer last September when Diana made her second attempt of the 2011 summer only to thwarted by multiple debilitating jelly fish sting after 30 hours of swimming.   During that swim Diana displayed a strength and determination that is laudable for an athlete of any age – but when you consider the fact that she was 61 years of age her accomplishment was phenomenal.   Although each stroke she took during those 30 hours of swimming was remarkable, her quick recovery and astute insight on the boat ride back to Key West is what was truly impressive.   Diana Nyad is a very strong woman who continues to inspire with her efforts.   Over the last year she resumed an impressive training regimen and worked with swim suit manufacture FINIS to develop a suit that is can project against the jelly fish yet still have her swim fall into the “unassisted” category (a somewhat contentious point amongst some marathon swimming enthusiasts).  She has assembled a top notched crew of experts to support this endeavor with the hope that 2012 is the year she realizes what is called the “XtremeDream”.   The 103 mile swim is expect to take at least 60 hours of continuous swimming.   It will be exciting to follow her progress.  Her team will be likely reporting on Twitter (@diananyad) and on her blog.

Corrected 8/20 – the term “channel swimming federation” was correctly pointed out as being too ambiguous and that the suit would not adhere to certain federation guidelines such as the English Channel Swimming Federation.

Mike Lewis / Ola Vista Photography


  1. liquidassets says:

    What kind of fabric can protect against jellyfish?? If it works, then with the explosion of jellyfish populations due to climate change patterns, that is going to be extremely marketable in the general population of beach swimmers, not just competitive open-water swimmers.

    • Neologistic says:

      LiquidAssets: Her protection for her face and head is pantyhose! Her blog says FINIS for the bodysuit

      WhoKnows: How ironic – Diana’s post on this page about her attempt is right above Lochte’s trademark filing (not to mention his designer sports shoes and grills). Still want to talk about needing attention? Snark much? WhoCares?

  2. sam says:

    She does not know when to quit. I’m impressed by her insanity.

  3. WHOKNOWS says:

    This is defnitely her last attempt – she has said that at least three times in about the last year! Anything to maintain the attention she wants so badly. Never forget Nyad!

    • liquidassets says:

      She doesn’t seem all that driven by attention to me. She’s been pretty low-key over the decades, especially about her personal life. She’s been relatively quiet about being gay, which could have brought her all the attention she wanted, as well as some of the other work and things she’s done. She just seems like one of those completely obsessed champions to me. I hope she makes it; it’s always great to see champions pushing the limits.

      • Paella747 says:

        Liquidassets, I completely agree. If somebody is aiming for attention, there are probably more effective ways to garner it than doing an open water swim. I have nothing but respect for this fine lady. Her drive is admirable, and I wish her the best of luck….

        “Whoknows”….. Bitter much? Unless you know Ms. Nyad personally, then this is the only other reason you might make such a statement.

  4. Kirk says:

    YOU GO GIRL!!!

  5. Shark says:

    “whoknows”- must be angry at something in their life- why would anyone feel compelled to make a negative comment about her attempting her dream goal again? Who cares how many times she attempts it? It is her personal goal and she sticks with it- that determination is what I admire in anyone. I have no respect for anyone that can only mock or make negative comments, I just pity them. Go Diana- keep chasing your dreams!

  6. Mike Lewis says:

    According to reports on Diana’s blog (diananyad.com) she has left early and is now underway.

  7. sam says:

    I can see trying to swim the English Channel or something similar, but 103 miles does not make sense unless you are built like a fish and can swim 25 mph.

    I’ll be very surprised if she makes it. Good luck Diana, you’re going to need a ton of it.

  8. Anarchy in the pool says:

    Did the jellyfish demand her respect?

  9. Shinji says:

    @Mike Lewis:
    You wrote that Diana will be wearing “a suit that is in line with channel swimming guidelines that can project against the jelly fish.”
    What *specific* “channel swimming guidelines” are you referring to? The suit wouldn’t be allowed in the English Channel. It wouldn’t be allowed in the Catalina Channel. It wouldn’t be allowed in the Cook Strait. It wouldn’t be allowed in Hawaii. So what guidelines are you talking about, specifically?

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About Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis has nearly three decades of open water swimming experience as both an athlete and coach. He has worked with a wide range of athletes including Olympians and World Record Holders. Mike was as an administrator in the U.S. Olympic movement for 10 years and was a team director for the 2000 Olympic games. Mike himself is an avid swimmer and has notched several top 10 rankings in US Masters swimming. Mike and his wife Cynthia founded "Did you swim today?" – a global gathering place for swimmers to share their positive experiences in the pool and the open water. Read More »