Just a month after recovering from relentless jellyfish stings and lacerations she suffered during her record-breaking Cuba to Florida swim, endurance athlete Diana Nyad is ready to make some more waves.
On Tuesday morning, the famed 64-year-old will dive into a two-lane pool being installed smack in the middle of New York City and will swim for 48 hours straight to raise funds for Hurricane Sandy victims, according to her fundraising page.
She'll be joined by a number of other big names, including Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte and Richard Simmons (who will be sporting a one-piece bedazzled with nearly 300 Swarovski crystals and a crystal swim cap that will be auctioned for charity).
"I'm from New York City and last year I was in town right after Sandy hit...You feel such tremendous compassion for people," Nyad told CBSNews.com. "You might sit down and write a little check for disaster relief -- whatever you can afford...And then it’s not front page news and you forget about it....Well thousands of people haven't forgotten about it -- Jersey Shore, Staten Island, Far Rockaway -- all over New York and New Jersey."
This New Yorker knows a thing or two about making front-page news.
Last month, during her fifth attempt, the determined athlete became the first person to ever swim the estimated 110 miles from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage. It took her about 53 hours to complete the historic swim.
Now Nyad is using her star power to bring money and attention to the 25,000 still-displaced Sandy victims. Her fundraising campaign had already pulled in more than $34,000 as of press time and will be donated to AmeriCares.
The relief nonprofit has already provided $6.5 million in aid to hurricane victims and has helped 450,000 people affected by the storm, according to the organization’s website.
To ensure as much money as possible from the event is donated to charity, Proctor & Gamble agreed to underwrite the production costs.
As for the kinds of people who inspire Nyad to keep trucking, they seem to be the ones who share her passion for making a splash in this world.
“Most people want to be valued members of their communities. They want to help each other and they want to live a good life –- they want to laugh and love and live and help,” Nyad told Good Morning America. “Those are the people I admire.”
Yep, Diana Nyad is a straight-up badass. Find out how you can support her efforts right here.