64-Year-Old Swimmer Completes Astonishing 100+ Mile Cuba-to-Fla. Swim

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 2 2013 2:13 PM

64-Year-Old Swimmer Completes Astonishing 100+ Mile Cuba-to-Fla. Swim

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US swimmer Diana Nyad begins her attempt to swim in a three-day non-stop journey from Havana to Florida.

Photo by YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images

After 4 failed attempts to swim from Cuba to Florida, Diana Nyad at last completed her daring 103-mile mission on Monday. The 64-year-old American took her first strokes after leaping from a seawall in Hemingway Marina in Havana on Saturday morning. More than 52 hours later she put her feet down in the sand of the Florida coast.

Nyad has attempted this very same feat 4 times over the past 30 years and is the first to complete the swim without the help of a shark cage and flippers. She wore a jellyfish protection suit and a mask to protect her tongue from jellyfish stings. In her last attempt, just over a year ago, Nyad only got halfway to Florida because of debilitating jellyfish stings and a lightning storm that pushed her off course.

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Here’s a map that charted her journey and a real time account of the swim posted by her team (in a boat next to her).

Correction: An earlier version of this post misspelled the name of Hemingway Marina.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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