Have you seen the movie, Nyad on Netflix?
We are thrilled that the movie is out and shares an incredible story about a woman marathon swimmer.
Marathon swimming is defined as any race over 16miles. There is one exception in recent times, when for the 2008 Olympics, it became an new event and the distance is 6 miles. The Olympics wanted a spectator friendly distance, and the race lasts for about 2 hours or less. But we are focusing on the classic long distance event, like the English Channel, Catalina Channel and what one woman, Diana Nyad swam, 110 miles from Cuba to Key West, Florida.
Before we talk about the swim, What else has she done?
Diana has worked as a sports commentator and journalist for outlets such as National Public Radio (NPR), ABC’s Wide World of Sports, and other media organizations. Her insights and contributions have enriched the coverage of various sporting events.
Throughout her career, Diana Nyad has been an advocate for women in sports. She has spoken out about gender equality in sports, encouraging more opportunities for women athletes and challenging stereotypes related to age and gender.
Diana Nyad has written several books, including her memoir “Find a Way,” in which she shares her life experiences, including her journey in long-distance swimming. Her writing reflects on the challenges she faced, the importance of resilience, and the pursuit of one’s passions.
Diana Nyad has been open about her identity as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Her openness contributes to broader discussions about inclusivity and acceptance, particularly within the realm of sports.
The Cuba to Florida swim that Nyad attempted over the years and into her 60’s is incredible and models tenacity and dedication.
Diana was not the first person to successfully swim this course. One swimmer, Susie Maroney, swam the same route inside a shark cage in 1997. This brought about discussions and distinctions between swims with and without protective cages. The shark cage allows her to draft off of it that is being pilled but the boat. Therefore, its not just her physical efforts. She used a cage for one of her attempts, but then chose to swim again, without the cage. Another swimmer had successfully crossed the Florida Straits from Cuba to Florida. The swimmer is José Luis Martínez. He completed the swim in 1997, becoming the first person to swim from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Florida. José Luis Martínez accomplished this feat on May 1997, covering approximately 118 miles in 34 hours without a shark cage!
Diana Nyad’s swim from Cuba to Florida faced some controversy and skepticism, primarily surrounding the assistance – particularly in terms of feeding and hydration she received during the swim. According to the rules set by the open water swimming community, the swimmer can not touch or hold onto a person or boat for any amount of time during the swim. Furthermore, during a swim, there is an official on the boat making sure all the rules. There are many hours missing in the log of accounting for her feedings, stroke count and distance swam. The International Marathon Swimming Association has not ratified this swim.
Nyad’s team, on the other hand, maintained that the swim was conducted according to the rules set by the open-water long distance swimming community.
Whatever really happened it’s a great story about a mature woman and her determination to swim an incredible distance against all odds and introducing what its like to be a marathon swimmer.