Saturday October 16, 2010
MIAMI (Reuters) - Veteran long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad said on
Friday she was scrubbing plans to make a treacherous swim this year of
more than 100 miles (160 km) from Cuba to Key West, Florida, due to bad
Nyad, 61, emerged from long retirement as an athlete earlier this year
to say she was determined to make the swim she failed to complete in her
first attempt in August 1978, when bad weather was also the culprit.
The swim, which Nyad had calculated would take about 65 hours, would
break her own world record for marathon, long-distance swims without a
shark cage. She now plans to try again next summer.
She said her plan to make the swim as early as July this year was set
back by delays in getting required government paperwork completed, and
then by unfavorable weather and water conditions in the shark-infested
Straits of Florida.
"I was pushed up against the corner by the weather. ... It was an
unprecedented bad series of weather events," Nyad told Reuters in a
She said she flew home to Los Angeles on Thursday after quietly deciding
about a week ago to postpone the swim attempt until next summer, when
warmer water temperatures and hopefully calmer seas will make conditions
"I was really sad. I cried a few bitter tears and then I was angry
also," Nyad said, describing the moment when she decided to put the swim
on hold after months of grueling training.
"I need a little break. I need to get the spirit back,' she added,
saying she probably would not get back in the ocean for more
long-distance training until January.
"It will come back. But right now I don't have the motivation, honestly,
to get back in the water and swim a bunch of hours," Nyad said.
"The dream is alive, just right now it took a little bit of a whipping,"
she said, referring to how her return to extreme swimming after a more
than 30-year hiatus had inspired baby boomers and older people around
"A lot of people were following me over this last year," she said.
(Reporting by Tom Brown; Editing by Peter Cooney)