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Diana Nyad begins new attempt at swim record
September 22nd, 2011
05:40 PM ET

Diana Nyad begins new attempt at swim record

Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad hugged friends and waved at admirers at Havana’s Hemingway Marina before she jumped in the water at 6:04 p.m., hoping her third attempt to swim to Florida would end in success.

“I think at the age of 62 I honestly believe I'm in the best shape of my whole life, not just of the last two years,” she told reporters.

She expects the 100-plus mile swim to take close to 60 hours. That would put her into Florida sometime Monday.

Follow Diana on Twitter

Nyad attempted this swim in early August and had to be pulled from the water after some 60 miles, and almost 29 hours of swimming. She blamed a shoulder injury she suffered early in the journey, and an 11-hour-long asthma attack. Nyad says she believes the asthma attack followed an allergic reaction to pain medication she took for the shoulder injury.

But Friday, Nyad said she was confident the issues have been resolved, and she has what it takes.

“The asthma took me down, but ironically enough, that 29-hour swim was like a very, very expensive training swim,” she said.

This time, her 30-person team has injections for asthma just in case.

Nyad was subdued but determined as she greased up ahead of the swim.

“Not that I was ever cocky, but having been through this now and been so deeply and emotionally disappointed, I don’t want to take anything for granted,” she said.

Watch CNN documentary: Diana Nyad's Xtreme Dream

In an interview several weeks after the August attempt, she told CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta she was still strong, and was not ruling out another attempt.

In her own words: Diana's journey

"I am capable of swimming from Cuba to Florida, and I will give it up, if I just can't make it," she said, "but I didn’t prove that to myself in this particular swim."

To attempt this swim again, Nyad said she would need good weather, calm waves and warm water, though she was willing to swim in slightly less optimal conditions than she once thought she needed.

"I used to have almost a paranoia of waiting for the (ocean) surface to be (completely) flat," she told Gupta. "(During the August attempt) we were out in some slappy waves, and it wasn’t fun, and you can’t glide across the surface, but I can make it."

Nyad’s tenacity has inspired many, but on Friday she said no matter what the outcome this time, she doesn’t think there will be a fourth attempt.

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soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. Rethink

    Knock it out, Diana!

    September 22, 2011 at 18:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Robin

    You go, girl! Inspiration arrives to us in all forms- and Jimi- study her team and procedures before assuming Coast Guard would become involved. Cheering for you....

    September 22, 2011 at 18:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • S1N

      Inspiration? Really? How is failing miserably considered inspirational?

      September 22, 2011 at 21:15 | Report abuse |
    • Al Freeman

      You need to educate yourself on the meaning of the word "inspirational". Maybe you should read "the old man and the sea". You might learn something about the Strength of Will, and how inspirational a valiant effort can be, even if it eventually may end in failure. it is the struggle that matters, not the final result.

      September 22, 2011 at 23:32 | Report abuse |
    • doregroj

      sn1- the people that fail miserably are the ones that don't try.

      September 23, 2011 at 00:22 | Report abuse |
    • @ S1N

      Nice user name. How is trying again to do something incredibly difficult instead of giving up (ESPECIALLY at the age of 62) failing miserably? Methinks I detect eau d'troll in your comment...

      September 23, 2011 at 00:24 | Report abuse |
    • richk

      S1N, she swam over 60 miles in her last attempt. That IS inspirational. You would probably last 10 feet.

      September 23, 2011 at 16:27 | Report abuse |
    • oswald

      @sn1 people like SN1 are usually only not even in their teens and just take out their latest video game loss on others.

      September 23, 2011 at 17:10 | Report abuse |
  3. willymo

    I appreciate your willingness to succeed, but find a cause that benefits something besides your own fame.

    September 22, 2011 at 18:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mooche

      It has nothing to do with fame. It's her own personal goal; hers is just larger than most. I can't believe you've never had any in your lifetime.

      September 22, 2011 at 19:37 | Report abuse |
    • stoploss

      @ moooche if it's a "personal" goal then why do we have to hear about it in the public media?

      September 22, 2011 at 20:16 | Report abuse |
    • John

      Her story is famous because people are interested in hearing about it. She didn't spend her entire life trying to become an expert swimmer just so she could have a story on CNN. Do you not realize that?

      September 22, 2011 at 20:25 | Report abuse |
    • t-ro

      Perspective, Dude. Get some

      September 22, 2011 at 22:10 | Report abuse |
    • Al Freeman

      Fame of a Hero benefits all.

      September 22, 2011 at 23:36 | Report abuse |
    • VR13

      Have to agree with stoploss. For a personal goal, it's too much of public attention. And it would be nicer if personal goals benefited other people. Otherwise, it's indeed a personal vain.

      September 23, 2011 at 13:40 | Report abuse |
  4. Lars

    I was hoping you'd give it another go!

    September 22, 2011 at 18:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. NUCLEARMAN

    YO GO WOMEN ... get your goal unlike these idiot wallstreet folks

    September 22, 2011 at 18:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dr. Frankenstein

      NUCLEARMAN – what does Wall Street have to do with anything???

      September 22, 2011 at 20:31 | Report abuse |
  6. mary

    Well I hope she makes it.. but I hope people realize most people her age are not that physically fit..Not that strong or capable.. I fear she will have people thinking all us old folks could be in the same shape.. Cause it just isn't so..
    Genetics.. Thats the winner here..

    September 22, 2011 at 19:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pep1

      Speak for yourself.... I'm 60 something and run marathons. What's your excuse?
      Stereotype is the ugliest word in the English language and there are plenty of 50 and 60 somethings who just love to take it and spread it on those of us who don't buy in to the get old, get slow, get sick business.

      YOU ROCK DIANA... THANK YOU... AGE DISCRIMINATION WILL MEET ITS MATCH... AND IT NOW HAS A NAME...

      September 22, 2011 at 21:01 | Report abuse |
    • purpleravioli

      Don't buy into the genetic hype. My genetics suck but every since I gave up meat and dairy and started exercising regulary I have never felt better or stronger. I will certainly never swim 103 miles but I did swim 1/2 mile the other day. Six months ago I would have never been abel to do that.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:10 | Report abuse |
    • richk

      Most people half her age aren't as physically fit. What's your point? The idea is that if you live right and put the work in, you could do things like this as well. It's not that difficult a concept. 😉

      September 23, 2011 at 16:29 | Report abuse |
  7. mary

    Wow, that was TOTALLY uncalled for..
    Why do people get so d... mean about things..?
    If this woman wants to do this at 64....SO WHAT?
    Is life only for the young?
    I thought life was for the living ..Period~!!!

    September 22, 2011 at 19:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Anchorage, Ak

    I was rooting for you the 1st time but really how many times are you going to cry wolf.

    September 22, 2011 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • t-ro

      Cry Wolf? 🙂 my guess is you'd be squealing like a lil girl after 10 minutes in the water she tried to swim through. Umm, that is IF you'd try to get in. So Wolf sound : GOOD. Squealing like a piglet: NOT GOOD

      September 22, 2011 at 22:14 | Report abuse |
  9. Tom

    Oh goody..... someone really making a difference in this world.

    September 22, 2011 at 19:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • t-ro

      Yeah, kind of like you, right?

      September 22, 2011 at 22:15 | Report abuse |
  10. tlbkcal

    To all the haters, if you don't like it, don't click on the story and go watch your Jersey Shores instead. To those who say this doesn't benefit the world, inspiration is a medicine.

    September 22, 2011 at 19:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Dave

    I love how we are so quick to talk crap about this woman. She has accomplished more than probably all of us put together. You hate her so much that you have read the story and spent your time commenting about it. Get a life that and learn from that woman.

    September 22, 2011 at 19:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pep1

      Dave.. they are all jealous.

      September 22, 2011 at 21:01 | Report abuse |
  12. James Vond

    please stop wasting everyones time

    September 22, 2011 at 19:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. getreal

    Who gives a s### about this idiot?

    September 22, 2011 at 19:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • t-ro

      As a matter of fact, I do.

      September 22, 2011 at 22:38 | Report abuse |
    • kman02

      I do. Imagine a 62 year-old woman swimming from Cuba to Florida for a second. Getreal, I bet you couldn't WALK that far in 10 days. Puke!

      September 23, 2011 at 00:25 | Report abuse |
    • Asheley

      Apparently you care enough to read & comment on the story......you Must REALLY "give a s&&&" in your own words...
      socalpimp "It's not CNN who made her story, it's the people who read & want to know about her journey that made the story..aka people like you who claim to not care and yet waste so much of their time commenting on something they don't care about....

      I have faith in you Diana. You are awesome!!! More Women need to be like you!

      September 23, 2011 at 16:24 | Report abuse |
  14. lchin

    It's my considered opinion, and probably that of a majority of people, that you're an idiot. And if you really are a doctor, then you're an idiot with a medical degree.

    September 22, 2011 at 19:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. TCVAN

    Let's make this the last time, please!!! And CNN about 1/10 the coverage that you gave it last time would be MORE than enough.

    September 22, 2011 at 20:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • t-ro

      Yeah CNN, we need MORE Casey, and less of EVERYTHING ELSE!

      September 22, 2011 at 22:22 | Report abuse |
  16. NoTags

    She has zero chance of accomplishing this swim. She must feel she needs attention, which she does in the State Mental Hospital.

    September 22, 2011 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • t-ro

      You must not have much going for you. Or you've never accomplished a goal. Dude this woman is an Olympian, so unless you are a peer (like a fellow Olympian) you mean nothing. NADA

      September 22, 2011 at 22:25 | Report abuse |
    • kman02

      When she takes the water, she has a chance...Just like an underdog football team. I have a hunch you get the analogy, because you only wished you could be a winner. She IS a winner for going after a lifelong goal. You are a wimp.

      September 23, 2011 at 00:29 | Report abuse |
    • Bode

      t-ro, Diana Nyad was never an Olympian. You should really get your facts straight before you pontificate to everyone else about not knowing what they are talking about. Google is your friend.

      September 23, 2011 at 20:45 | Report abuse |
  17. theAntiELVIS

    She seems determined to die by drowning.

    September 22, 2011 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • t-ro

      ELVIS is the best!

      September 22, 2011 at 22:26 | Report abuse |
  18. Al Freeman

    I am very moved by her determination. Only those who are capable of dedicating their lives to a phenomenal achievement, only those who become Champions of the World in any sport, who spend their lives building a business, or working on an idea against all odds – only those who would rather die than lose, only they can understand this remarkable woman. Go, Diana! My thoughts will be with you (an my heart, too.) Losers can never understand the Winners!

    September 22, 2011 at 20:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pierce

      Glad you feel that way. If Nyad needs help, though, I appoint you to go after her and not our Coast Guard, which, I would assume, would have better things to do thatn protect an egoist has-been swimmer who has nothing better to do than to tilt at windmills and chase silly dreams.

      In a perfect world we'd be cheering on teachers, police, the military and stressed-out parents rathern than has-beens like Nyad. But, again, that's just me.

      September 23, 2011 at 16:47 | Report abuse |
    • Planktonic

      My bowels moved in sympathy I must admit

      September 23, 2011 at 17:41 | Report abuse |
  19. Al Stroker

    Yawn

    September 22, 2011 at 20:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • t-ro

      "Stroker"...need I say more?

      September 22, 2011 at 22:27 | Report abuse |
  20. Buzz

    Here's to hoping she gets nommed on by a shark.

    September 22, 2011 at 20:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Liberty Queen

      @buzz here's hoping your you-know-what gets bit off by a shark.... oh, WAIT! There's nothing there! ROGLMFAO

      September 22, 2011 at 21:40 | Report abuse |
    • t-ro

      ...another idiot...

      September 22, 2011 at 22:28 | Report abuse |
  21. James

    I hope she drowns this time....how stupid can you be.

    September 22, 2011 at 21:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • t-ro

      Hmm, i dunno...maybe almost as stupid as you?

      September 22, 2011 at 22:29 | Report abuse |
    • Nimnim

      Why the blatant hate, jerk. She's just swimming,for god's sake. You must be angry at everything. Therapy, perhaps??

      September 23, 2011 at 01:37 | Report abuse |
  22. guenter

    I was just going to write a response to that doctor moron, when I saw the above reply by ITCHIN. I whole-heartedly concur. What an idiot! Probably never swam more than 45 feet in his heart-shaped little pool (to impress his neighbours, of course).

    Do you have diabetes, hypertension, and weigh about 350 pounds, Doctor? And can't give up your greasy hamburgers?
    Get a life, bubba!

    September 22, 2011 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • t-ro

      what a great name...Dr. Moron 🙂

      September 22, 2011 at 22:30 | Report abuse |
  23. MikeySD

    Why do people still care about this?

    September 22, 2011 at 21:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • t-ro

      Because Mikey, unlike you some people have a clue.

      September 22, 2011 at 22:31 | Report abuse |
  24. Louie

    And it's my considered opinion she could whip your butt in about 5 seconds.

    September 22, 2011 at 21:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Nautical chart

    Go Diana! Good for you. If I can make it down to Key West, I think it would be great to see you finish.

    September 22, 2011 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Liberty Queen

    @dr perry fisher: Hey, over-the-hill-geezer, like you have a case of flaccid prepenile dementia, that is, thinking with your little one inch of nothing. GO DIANA!!!!

    September 22, 2011 at 21:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • t-ro

      Dr. Perry Fister, no mo need be said 🙂

      September 22, 2011 at 22:35 | Report abuse |
  27. Samuel R. Preston, III

    Please...this time take my advice and WEAR WATER WINGS. Whimsical, cute - and functional.

    September 22, 2011 at 21:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. BENJI

    ooo Look at me so I can be relevant.

    September 22, 2011 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • t-ro

      Wha? Dude gather a relevant thought and treasure it. It may be the only one you can muster up.

      September 22, 2011 at 22:19 | Report abuse |
  29. t-ro

    ...there's an old saying for anyone that has a negative comment for this: Everything looks crappy when your head's in your butt! Sniping losers. And my guess is your about 223 pound overweight! Have another Big Mac, and think it over!

    September 22, 2011 at 22:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Special Ed

    32nd time is the charm! Honestly, can we stop encouraging this woman before she hurts herself?

    September 22, 2011 at 22:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • t-ro

      "Special Ed." need I say more? Thank you for making my case.

      September 22, 2011 at 22:33 | Report abuse |
  31. lornee

    She must be smuggling something in from Cuba on each swim.
    CNN- are you guys going to be writing a book about her swims. Like who cares.
    Diane, we love ya but give it a rest.

    September 22, 2011 at 22:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • t-ro

      Another lost soul with no clue...

      September 22, 2011 at 22:34 | Report abuse |
  32. t-ro must be the swimmers "partner"

    Give it a rest. This swim is not about any of us, so don't feel the need to get so invested.

    September 22, 2011 at 22:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. augustghost

    I'll bet she can still wear anyone out in bed.....incredible endurance

    September 22, 2011 at 23:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. augustghost

    Unbelievable..I think alot of you get on line and blog just to start a moronic, chidish argument about ANYTHING....what losers

    September 22, 2011 at 23:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. doregroj

    This lady should let as many Cubans as possible join her in the swim. It will certainly be the swim of the century.

    September 23, 2011 at 00:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. tayoune

    Why would you do it? a lot of people admire you already, for many including myself you are super sport star, unless you doubt it yourself? even in this case rethink it . The price is not worth it.

    September 23, 2011 at 01:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Liz

    Part of me wants to be encouraging. It is her dream and her life to risk (if that's the only one at risk). Apparently many here of a certain age (I'm 63) feel admiration and inspiration from this. I admit, these kinds of sport endurance records just puzzle me. I fully admit to being pretty much a couch potato so perhaps I just don't "get it". Seems like a fine line between this and Evil Knieval's leaps. I never understood those either.

    I do understand that she may be obsessively haunted by the way her first try failed so quickly. So she has only negative feelings about it. I hope she makes it this time in good health and that none of her crew are injured. I hope the success gives her the satisfaction she thinks it will. I have no doubt there will be a book if she succeeds or almost does and lives to tell.

    For myself, I am braced for the flames from t-ro, et al. Maybe I'll set a record for enduring nasty replies. LOL

    September 23, 2011 at 01:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. giveitup

    if cnn wasnt sponsoring her this would hardly be news she is hardly swimming without a shark cage such a joke

    September 23, 2011 at 01:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. chana

    i think that admirable to try again or even at all especially at that age,.... but seriously i think it will be another fail!!!

    September 23, 2011 at 02:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. DBlaq

    It makes no sense ripping on her for perservering. She is inspirational to some. To others, this is not news. That's fine. It's ok to not care about something but people don't have to degrade her for what she wants to do. I personally don't care, but it's her life. Kudos to her for chasing her goals.

    September 23, 2011 at 02:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Rigatone

    To the haters and trolls: This is her idea, her self-appointed task, her personal goal. It has nothing to do with you, me or anybody else; our opinions don't matter. They never do to committed individuals who persevere in following their dreams.

    I admire this highly intelligent, courageous and inspirational older woman. Go Diana! I'll keep you in my thoughts and pray for your success. We need all the heroes we can get.

    September 23, 2011 at 04:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Dr Bill Toth

    May the third time be the charm! Live With Intention, DrBillTothCom/blog

    September 23, 2011 at 07:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Jesse

    Everytime somebody puts themselves out there to accomplish something very difficult or to test the limits of human ability it is inspirational. It inspires us because it let's us know that when we think we are maxed out we haven't. Roger Bannister said it best, "Only in something like running can finality be achieved, the sort of finality that is almost perfection. But it is not the kind of perfection that leaves you with nothing to strive for. You are not your own execution, because sport is not the main aim in life. Yet to achieve perfection in one thing, however small, makes it possible to face uncertainty in the more difficult problems in life." I'm assuming that counts for swimming too.

    September 23, 2011 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. waitup

    she never makes it, she should donate all that cash to teach people how to swim. she failed 30 years ago all of the time, what makes her think that at 35+ years older she can do it. give us a break you are wasting time and what the heck are you trying to prove, or what would be the purpose of this charade???

    September 23, 2011 at 14:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Jerry Lee

    I honestly don't think she can do it, not at 62 years of age. She may claim that she's in the best shape of her life and never felt better, but the truth is she's still 62 years old and you have to train ridiculously hard and take everything to insane levels to make a 60 year old body compete with the endurance of that of a 20 year old body. Time makes fools of us all and no amount of exercise or training will rewind the clock for you. That being said, I hope she makes it and fulfills her dream.

    If she doesn't then she can at least say she tried. I just hope everyone doesn't make her out to be the spectacle they did last time when she failed. Inspirational? Yes. Motivational? Yes. A hero for not even making it halfway? No.

    September 23, 2011 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • richk

      Sorry, but you are misinformed and just another person who clings to the outdated idea that age determines a person's strength, endurance, agility.....simply unfair to make sweeping generalizations.

      September 23, 2011 at 16:25 | Report abuse |
  46. Mr. Wilson

    So, what is the definition of insanity again?

    September 23, 2011 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. socalpimp

    Who cares? CNN must be starving for some form of female athletic story

    September 23, 2011 at 16:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Jimi, Hicktown AK

    25 miles and she abandons due to some reason or other

    September 23, 2011 at 16:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Zoophage

      I'm going with... less than 25

      September 23, 2011 at 17:02 | Report abuse |
  49. aa

    another year another try, can we just get this drama over with

    September 23, 2011 at 16:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Daveinla.

    Wonder if she will come up with a fish in her mouth?

    September 23, 2011 at 16:37 | Report abuse | Reply
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