61-Year-Old Preps For 103-Mile Swim

Nyad will attempt Cuba to Florida crossing

Jul 19, 2011
Outside Magazine

Diana Nyad, a 61-year-old radio broadcaster from Los Angeles, is preparing to swim from Cuba to Florida and break a world record that she set more than 30 years ago. In 1979 Nyad swam 102.5 miles from the island of Bimini to Florida, with no shark cage and no wetsuit, establishing a record that still stands today. After that swim Nyad retired, eventually becoming a sucessful radio reporter. But Nyad had always wanted to swim from Cuba to Florida (she tried and failed in 1978) and last year, at age 60, she revived the idea and resumed training. Now 61, Nyad has assembled a crew, raised $350,000, and organized permission to travel to Cuba. If successful, she will likely spend at least 60 hours in the water. Her only breaks will be to tread water and sip an energy drink. If she completes the swim, she will be the first person in the world to make it from Florida to Cuba without a shark cage. Sharks, of course, can be a problem for long-distance swimmers, but Nyad’s crew will include four men with spear guns trailing an electrical shark shield.

Read more at the New York Times

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