61-Year-Old to Swim From Cuba to Florida

Diana Nyad aims to make up for incomplete 1978 journey
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2011 5:43 PM CDT
Diana Nyad, 61, to Swim from Cuba to Florida
Diana Nyad participates in a panel, "Sports: The Athletes As Role Model," at UCLA April 25, 2009.   (Getty Images)

She managed to swim all the way around Manhattan, but when Diana Nyad tried to swim from Cuba to Florida in 1978, she didn’t finish the job. Now, she’s preparing to try again—at age 61, the Washington Post reports. “I have no idea what age I am,” she says. “I don’t feel different in any way.” She knocked off a 24-hour training swim last year, but the trip to Cuba is expected to take 60 hours.

“There are people who do endurance for this long, but not in the water and not isolated like this," says her doctor. "You can’t provide her with things that you could provide a land athlete with.” In 1978, she was pulled out of the water onto a boat full of journalists after almost 50 hours. This time, she’ll have a team of weather experts and her doctor floating with her. “The science” of endurance “has moved on quite a bit,” her doctor says. “But the one thing that’s the same is, 98% of it will be Diana and her determination.” She hopes to make the swim in June or July. (More Diana Nyad stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.