Legendary Swimmer Diana Nyad's Battle Against The Elements

Diana Nyad

Photo: Diana Nyad

It is no casual business witnessing the end of anyone’s lifelong dream, especially when the dream is one as grand and romantic as that of Diana Nyad, who on Tuesday ended her second attempt to swim across the treacherous Florida Straits.Nyad, 61, a legendary distance swimmer who has conquered the planet’s greatest bodies of water, tried in 1978 to swim from Cuba to Florida. Back then, winds and current defeated her after 41 hours. To traverse this particular body of water that separates two distinct worlds has remained the dream of her life.

Sunday night at 7:45 pm, after two years of training, eight weeks of waiting in the Florida heat, and an athlete’s version of shuttle diplomacy between the U.S. State Department and Cuba, which included a hand-written note from Hillary Clinton, Nyad jumped into the waters off Hemingway Marina in Havana to begin a projected 60-hour, 103-mile swim to Key West.

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