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Diana Nyad About to Reach Florida In Swim From Cuba


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I find this amazing, and slightly cuckoo. In considering her age and the extreme pain and difficulty involved, what a great accomplishment. Why (would one do this)? I don't know, but the persistence, dedication and strength is inspiring.

I think the part that hit me was in describing a previous (failed) attempt, whereby she was delirious and hallucinating, but pressed on. Most of us couldn't get out of bed in that state, however, this woman's set a goal and shows that even in the most extreme of conditions, it's important to press on.

This kind of spirit and attitude is something we can all apply to some degree in our personal lives. Never say die.

In applying this to our team, I hope after coming so close and losing (the Cup) with some setback and deflation involved in that, that they get back in the water and swim like they mean it.

At 64 years old, this woman is amazing.

(CNN) -- Diana Nyad is just a few miles shy of a goal she's been chasing for more than 35 years, but the strain of more than two days of swimming is showing.

Nyad, 64, is on her fifth attempt to swim the 103 miles from Cuba to Florida without a protective cage or flippers.

Only 6.5 miles from Key West around 7:30 a.m. ET Monday, Nyad had a swollen tongue and lips 46 hours into her swim, her support team reported on its website.

She has never before come so close to Florida in previous attempts, and the wear on her body is apparent. As the team called her around dawn for her first feeding since midnight, she took longer than normal to reach the support boat, the report said.

Though she slurred her speech, the words were understandable. Before resuming her swim-crawl to Key West, her team applied a "sting stopper" substance to her forehead and cheeks in the hopes of warding off jellyfish stings.

"Don't get it on my nose or eyes," she said, according to her website.

130901014456-diana-nyad-begins-final-swim-story-body.jpgDiana Nyad breaks distance record

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130831005922-lok-oppmann-diana-nyad-cuba-to-florida-swim-00004611-story-body.jpgDiana Nyad to try again

She had gotten so cold overnight, the team didn't stop her for feeding until first light "in the hopes that swimming would keep her warm," the website said.

Nyad, who began the swim from Cuba on Saturday morning, may be in position to reach land between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. ET, the website said Monday morning.

Every stroke she swims puts her deeper into record territory. On Sunday night she broke Penny Palfrey's record for the farthest anyone has managed on the trek without a shark cage.

In 1997, Australian Susie Maroney completed the swim from within a shark cage. She was 22 at the time.

Nyad's website reported the leaders of her five-boat support team were planning her final route into Key West, taking into account tides, currents, shipping lanes, reefs and "swarms of jellyfish."

"Diana has stopped numerous times to tread water trying to restore herself," Nyad's navigator, John Bartlett, said in a website post at 5 a.m., 44 hours into the swim.

Nyad has been wearing a jellyfish protection suit, and also has available a special mask to prevent jellyfish stings to her tongue -- a key factor in her failed attempt in August 2012.

Thunderstorms also helped thwart her last year.

The weather this weekend was much better until 11 p.m. Sunday, when the support team reported winds rose suddenly and a thunderstorm appeared headed toward Nyad's path.

But just before 1 a.m. Monday, the team reported on Twitter: "Diana is swimming strong, everyone is safe, the winds are dying down, and we think we see the glow of Key West! "

Bartlett wrote on her website earlier that a favorable Gulf Stream had helped her achieve an average speed of 2.2 miles per hour.

Bartlett said currents will be "smaller but less predictable" as Nyad nears Florida.

Handler Bonnie Stoll wrote on the site Sunday that Nyad was in good spirits.

"The only concern is that she is throwing up everything she eats. She's quite nauseous from sea salt, but that's to be expected," said Stoll. "We're giving her enough calories and nutrition. We're just going to keep feeding her, and we hope that some of it is going down. She's not weak. Her stroke count hasn't changed."

Nyad set out from Havana at 8:59 a.m. Saturday with a crew of 35, including divers to watch for sharks.

The Los Angeles woman has said this is her final attempt. She said on her website that she wants to prove "it's never too late to chase your dream."

  • NEW: Nyad may reach land between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. ET, her team estimates

  • NEW: Nyad's tongue swollen, team says, giving her slurred but understandable speech

  • Swimmer already has broken previous no-cage distance record

  • 64-year-old Nyad is making her fifth and final attempt to make 103-mile swim


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She's not far....really hope she does it, as it's her last attempt to do so.

To get some perspective of what she endures in her attempts:

-was stung 9 times by jellyfish before being pulled out of the water

-(box) jellyfish: their venom is among the deadliest in the world, attacking the heart, nervous system, and skin cells.

-....encountering strong currents and winds that pushed her miles off course (to the east).....suffering shoulder pain but what made her abandon the effort was a flare-up of her asthma such that, throughout the final hour, she could only swim a few strokes before repeatedly having to roll on her back to catch her breath...in a speech she described how she had been stung by a box jellyfish on two different occasions during the swim. The first on her right forearm and the on the second incident around the neck, it was this second attack combined with the first attack which led to the deterioration of the capability of her respiratory system during the swim and the necessity to stop

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She Couldn't Wait to Say Thanks

Monday September 2, 2013 at 10:40am. Swim Time: 49:40

Well, Diana Nyad's only failure today was her inability to make it to 50 hours without a big chat. That's a long time not to talk for an extrovert like Diana, so 49 hours and 40 minutes into the swim with two miles to go as the crow flies, Diana called all five boats together in a circle around her and treaded water. She wanted to tell us something:

"Hi everybody," she said, apologizing first for any lack of clarity in her articulation. "I have some bad abrasions in my mouth from the jellyfish mask, so excuse me if I have trouble talking."

And then she proceeded to have no trouble talking.

Looking around at us as we bobbed on the boats, she said: "I am about to swim my last two miles in the ocean. This is a lifelong dream of mine and I'm very very glad to be with you. Some on the team are the most intimate friends of my life and some of you I've just met. But I'll tell you something, you're a special group. You pulled through; you are pros and have a great heart. So let's get going so we can have a whopping party."

"Thank you, all of you, thank you for your generosity."

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