My collaborator and friend Donal Buckley has been writing an eloquent, impassioned, and probably definitive account of l’Affaire Nyad (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5). I will collect my thoughts on The Controversy at some point, but in the meantime please consider Donal’s voice as my own.
What follows is my attempt at a real-time narrative of The Controversy, from the start of the swim the morning of August 31 through the evening of September 8, when a New York Times article by Suzanne Sataline finally forced Diana Nyad and her team to speak to the skepticism among her fellow marathon swimmers about the details of her achievement.
I assemble developments from a variety of sources – the Marathon Swimmers Forum, Facebook, national media outlets, and my personal contacts during this time – into a coherent narrative of a remarkable social media campaign.…
The Associated Press published a well-reported article on the marathon swimming community’s skepticism of Diana Nyad’s swim from Cuba to Florida. I am re-posting it here, with my comments in blue.
Nyad’s team responds to skeptics doubting her swim
By Jennifer Kay – September 8, 2013. 1:13 PM EDT
MIAMI (AP) — Diana Nyad’s 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida has generated positive publicity and adoration for the 64-year-old endurance athlete — along with skepticism from some members of the small community of marathon swimmers who are questioning whether she accomplished the feat honestly.
>> Or rather, swimmers who just want more information, to understand how such an incredible swim was accomplished – a swim that even noted open-water swimming commentator Steven Munatones has said is impossible.…
This past Monday, the most famous and charismatic open water swimmer of modern times, Diana Nyad, emerged from the sea at Key West and fulfilled her dream of swimming the Straits of Florida.
Ms. Nyad’s feat was headline news around the world – probably the biggest mainstream headlines for open water swimming of my lifetime. Millions were inspired by the dogged will of a 64-year old woman, taking on a challenge that had already defeated her four times, and had eluded swimmers half her age and twice her speed.
When she somehow had the presence of mind, still dripping wet, to urge the crowd gathered on the beach: “Never, ever give up… You are never too old to chase your dreams,” well… it was the stuff of movies.…