Nyad Begins 'Magical' 48-Hour Swim for Sandy
'I'm going to feel the solidarity' with swimmers including Ryan Lochte, Richard Simmons
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 8, 2013 10:28 AM CDT
Long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad begins her charity swim for Sandy in Manhattan.   (Jason DeCrow)
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(Newser) – The 64-year-old woman who swam from Cuba to Florida is attempting to swim in a pool in midtown Manhattan for 48 straight hours to benefit victims of Superstorm Sandy. Wearing a pink swim cap, Diana Nyad dove into the 40-yard pool set up in Herald Square and began doing laps shortly before 9am today. Her aim is to raise money for people still struggling a year after Sandy. "It's going to be so magical to be out there," she said yesterday. "It's going to be a spectacle right in the middle of New York City."

Nyad told the AP that one of her Manhattan swimming companions will be a dog named Roscoe that survived Sandy floodwaters. Also expected to join her are Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte and Richard Simmons, dressed in—what else?—a suit graced with about 300 Swarovski crystals. Nyad said she may break otherwise strict athletic rules by hugging some of the humans joining her in the two-lane pool. "I'm going to feel the solidarity. And every penny is going to go right to the victims."