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Diana Nyad Celebrates Historic Swim One Year Later

Andy Newman
Florida Keys News Bureau


One year after her historic swim from Cuba to Key West, Diana Nyad is returning to both islands to celebrate.

When Nyad reached the beach in Key West last year, she says she was in a physical, mental and emotional daze. She didn't even have a chance to thank her team.

"I was just whisked off," Nyad said. "This is my chance, Monday in that very place, to say [thank you] to them directly, and cry with them."

Over the weekend, Nyad and 10 members of her crew will be in Cuba for celebrations there. On Monday, they'll be back in Key West. The city is unveiling a plaque honoring Nyad at Smathers Beach. That's the spot where she stepped ashore on Labor Day last year, after almost 53 hours in the water.

The swim was Nyad's fifth attempt at the crossing.

"All those failures were public, and they were crushing," Nyad says. "On the boat after each one, I'd say 'what a shame, my beautiful dream is over.' But by the time we reached Key West and the docks here, I knew we were not going to let it go. So let's put it this way: I'm more proud of not giving up on it than I am of having actually made it."

Nyad is planning some new feats in the future. She hopes to open a one-woman stage show at The Studios of Key West this winter.