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Diana Nyad
In the 1970’s, Diana Nyad earned her reputation as the greatest long-distance swimmer in the world. Her world records, such as circling Manhattan Island and crossing the 102.5 miles between the Bahamas and Florida, were cause for Diana’s induction to many Halls of Fame, including the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Through the next three decades, Diana became a prominent sports journalist and broadcaster, filing compelling reports for National Public Radio, ABC’s Wide World of Sports, Fox Sports, USA Network, The New York Times, among other national media outlets.
Diana also owns a fitness business,, with best friend Bonnie Stoll.
She has also written three books and speaks French and Spanish fluently.

In 2011, after more than 30 years out of the water, Diana once again captured the world’s attention with her gutsy attempts to become the first person to ever swim from Cuba to Florida without aid of a shark cage. Some 1.3 million fans watched as Diana bravely swam some 40 hours (two separate times), once in August, once in September, both times foiled by Mother Nature. Her drive toward Xtreme Dreams has inspired many to live their own lives with similar passion.

Entries by Diana Nyad

The Greatest

(2) Comments | Posted June 6, 2016 | 10:26 PM

The flag outside my house, as is true of flags all over the world this week, flies at half-mast. This photo hangs on my wall, Ali under water, the fighter in all his glory.

The body of the iconic athlete is gone, but his mammoth, heroic, inspired spirit...

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President Obama's Historic Visit

(3) Comments | Posted March 24, 2016 | 12:23 PM

I was among those invited by the White House to be part of President Obama's historic visit to Havana over the past couple of days. While the President's entourage was largely a congressional delegation, representatives of various business concerns, and Cuban-Americans who have lived the pain of separation from their...

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Cuba: So Close You Could Almost Swim There

(3) Comments | Posted January 29, 2015 | 9:45 AM

The Cuban Revolution happened when I was a nine-year-old living in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Literally overnight, thousands of exiles flooded into my town. We were suddenly eating Cuban food, dancing salsa in my new friends' living rooms. The mystique ran deep. Already a little swimmer, I was standing on the...

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Any One of Us Can Chase an Impossible Dream

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2015 | 11:10 AM

When I stood on the Havana shore for the fifth time and looked out at the faraway horizon, to be honest, I was intimidated. I became more and more afraid with each attempt rather than more confident. But I was also deeply motivated by the deep sense of satisfaction that...

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Cuba One Year Later

(2) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 4:16 PM


Labor Day was big this year for me and the Xtreme Dream Team.

First we returned to Havana for the year anniversary of our swim from Cuba to Florida. We have made many friends there over the years. They are huge sports fans...

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My Turn on 'Dancing With The Stars'

(1) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 4:28 PM


It may have been short-lived, but my experience on DWTS was intense. Every single person I come across, friends and strangers alike, start with their own assumption: "It must have been SO MUCH FUN!!" Actually, fun is not the word for my particular...

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DWTS: Ego Bruised but Not Broken

(2) Comments | Posted March 21, 2014 | 9:21 PM

The first week foxtrot for Henry Byalikov and me was filled with pride. I may not bring the stuff of Olympic ice dancers but we worked our butts off and I was thrilled to pull off a proper foxtrot, something entirely alien to me just one week prior.


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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, an American National Treasure

(0) Comments | Posted March 12, 2014 | 7:03 PM

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis is an American national treasure.

I spoke to the general population of employees there just a few days ago and went for a tour of the facility. I was in tears a number of times,...

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Dancing With the Stars

(1) Comments | Posted March 4, 2014 | 4:42 PM

Some behind-the-scenes snapshots from this morning's Good Morning America announcement of this season's cast of Dancing With The Stars (#DWTS).

My partner, I am thrilled to announce, is the stunningly beautiful dancer and extremely capable teacher, Australian 28-year-old Henry Byalikov. (Stylish, too, I might add)

The cast ranges from recent...

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48 Tough Hours

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2013 | 8:04 AM

Long distance swimmer Diana Nyad undertakes her 48 hour "Swim for Relief" to help victims of Hurricane Sandy in Herald Square, New York October 9, 2013. Insider Images/Andrew Kelly (UNITED STATES)

By all accounts, the NYADSwimforRelief event center-stage...

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Nyad Swim for Relief

(1) Comments | Posted October 7, 2013 | 5:00 PM

Tomorrow morning, 8:40 EST, I will begin a 48-hour swim to benefit Hurricane Sandy victims in the NY/NJ area a year after that storm changed thousands of lives in a matter of few violent, terrifying minutes.

Thousands of good people are still homeless. Thousands more have not received government assistance....

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Cuba: 3 Weeks Later

(40) Comments | Posted September 26, 2013 | 7:45 AM


It's been three weeks since those dazed, magical steps onto Smathers Beach in Key West on Labor Day.


So many times I had pictured that walk. So many times I conjured the Florida beach, the palm trees, to...

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Out in the Ocean... 'We Taste Infinitude'

(0) Comments | Posted August 9, 2013 | 3:32 PM

This Cuba Swim plays on a myriad of levels. No getting around the pure athletic endeavor. Swimmers of all ilk trying since 1950, including yours truly.


For me, it's a life-affirming quest, reminding me to reach for the stars, to...

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Eating Contests: American Shame

(7) Comments | Posted August 6, 2013 | 7:52 PM

I'm not one to normally stand in judgment of the whimsical... even the silly. We can all use a dose of light and meaningless to lessen the load of everyday drudgery and stress.

I can laugh when hundreds of dachshunds line up at the Del Mar thoroughbred race track each...

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Box Jellyfish -- Deadly Venom

(4) Comments | Posted July 4, 2013 | 1:02 PM


A tiny, clear, cube-shaped gelatinous sea creature is armed with one of the deadliest venoms on our planet. Take it from one who knows too well the pain and paralysis of the Box Jellyfish. I have suffered their otherworldly stings three times now, in...

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Cuba Swim... Impossible?

(1) Comments | Posted June 13, 2013 | 12:22 PM

Chloe McCardel is widely touted as the top ocean swimmer in the world today. The 29-year-old Australian holds most of the current prestigious records, including the double, non-stop crossing of the English Channel.

When Chloe announced early this year that she was inspired to try the epic swim of our...

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Esther Williams: Irrepressible

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2013 | 8:15 AM

The public knew Esther Williams as a bathing beauty and a movie star.

But we should remember what a superior athlete Esther was as well. World War II stymied an Olympic career that held every promise to Williams becoming stellar multi-gold medalist.

With no Games held in either 1940, nor...

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Cuba: One More Time

(9) Comments | Posted June 7, 2013 | 11:07 AM

I am staring at myself in the virtual mirror these days, asking myself the poignant Mary Oliver question:

"What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

I will turn 64 soon. And the clock seems to quicken, ticking at a breakneck...

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Bravo to Jason Collins

(4) Comments | Posted April 30, 2013 | 8:13 AM

"I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay."
-Jason Collins

The locker rooms, the showers of male professional team sports -- the hallowed last bastion of American machismo -- have just been bust open, forever evolved, by one brave NBA center named Jason Collins.

Okay, this...

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The NYAD 48-Hour Times Square Swim for Hurricane Sandy Relief

(1) Comments | Posted April 23, 2013 | 6:18 PM

The 24-hour pool swim in Palm Springs was a bonding community experience. I have so many people to thank. First of all, except for my two longtime buddies, Candace and LeAnne, I had no idea if I'd be swimming most of the hours alone.

But my friend Peg McCloud, who...

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