Diana Nyad Calls Off Cuba To Florida Swim

Diana Nyad had to call it quits during her attempt at a world record swim on Tuesday. She was trying to make a second attempt at the record by swimming from Cuba to Florida. Her first attempt was when she was 28 and had to call that one off due to rough waters that where slamming her against her shark protecting cage.

Nyad was going without the cage, but the ocean swells still did her in. She made it halfway through the 103 mile swim before the ocean, sore shoulders and asthma took their toll on her. She made the decision and climbed aboard a support boat vomiting.

“I would be lying to say I’m not deeply, deeply disappointed,” Nyad said in a statement. “This was a big dream, not just of the last two years, but some 30 years when I tried it.”

“The swim was in me,” she said, but the conditions were not on her side.

It took 29 hours for Nyad to make it halfway. In 1977 Susie Maroney accomplished the swim but did it in a shark cage in 23 hoours and 47 minutes. The quick time has led some to suspect that the cage helped her in some fashion. The swimmer had expected the swim to take about 60 hours, far longer than Maroney.

Asthma took so much out of me,” she told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta. “I couldn’t overcome it.” Nyad said she took at least 40 inhaler puffs and even took oxygen to help improve her breathing. “We did everything we could to get out of asthma distress, but I couldn’t have gone another hour, couldn’t have done it,” she said.

Nyad had spent years pursuing her dream. Slashing through the red tape alone was daunting, given the relationship between the United States and Cuba, never mind her training regimen that included daily swims of up to 12 hours. “I am not sad,” she said. “It was absolutely the right call.”

By: Mary Smith
Published: Aug 9, 2021
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