For her maverick open-water performance of the 1970s, Diana Nyad was known as the world’s greatest long-distance swimmer. For the next thirty years, Nyad was a prominent sports broadcaster and journalist, filing compelling stories for National Public Radio, ABC’s Wide World of Sports, and others. She is a national fitness icon, has written three other books, is a talented linguist, and is one of today’s most powerful and engaging public speakers.
Diana Nyad was a world champion in her twenties, setting the record for swimming around Manhattan Island, along with other ocean-swim achievements, all of which rendered her a star at the time. Back then, she made the first attempt at the Mount Everest of swims, the Cuba Swim, but after forty-two hours and seventy-nine miles she was blown desperately off course. Her dream unfulfilled, she didn’t swim another stroke for three decades.
On September 2, 2013, at the age of sixty-four, Diana Nyad emerged onto the sands of Key West after swimming 111 miles, nation to nation, Cuba to Florida, in an epic feat of both endurance and human will, in fifty-three hours. Diana carried three poignant messages on her way across this stretch of shark-infested waters, and she spoke them to the crowd in her moment of final triumph:
1. Never, ever give up.
2. You’re never too old to chase your dreams.
3. It looks like a solitary sport, but it’s a Team.