Diana Nyad Completes Historic, 110-Mile Swim From Cuba to Florida, Accomplishes Feat in 53 Hours


1378176660_diana (2) copyWhile most people were enjoying a nice, relaxing holiday weekend, United States swimmer Diana Nyad was busy making history.

The 64-year-old became the first person to swim from Cuba to the U.S. without a shark cage on Monday afternoon. After leaving from Havana on Saturday, Nyad reached Key West, Fla., in just around 53 hours. The two-plus days were full of nonstop swimming, and Nyad was able to complete the 110-mile trip with the help of her 35-person team who accompanied her the entire journey.

While Nyad would stop occasionally for food and water, she never got out of the water. Her team also had equipment on their boat that created a faint electrical field around Nyad to keep sharks away from her.

This marks the fifth time Nyad had attempted the feat with her first try coming in 1978, her next three tries were in 2011, and she went for it again once more in 2012 before finally accomplishing the swim in what she vowed was her final stab at it in 2013.

As she approached the shore around 2 p.m. on Monday, Nyad was greeted with spectators and TV crews waiting to congratulate her, and eager to hear what the endurance swimmer had to say.

“I have three messages,” Nyad said once she reached the beach. “One is, we should never, ever give up. Two is, you’re never too old to chase your dream. Three is, it looks like a solitary sport, but it is a team.”

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