110 miles, 53 hours: Questions for Diana Nyad

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  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member
    OK, now the article is getting gross.

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member
    So I think prednisone and oxygen count as "assisted." ;)

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member
    $350,000 is a lot of money in the 1970's?!?!?! It's a lot of freaking money NOW!

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    In the New Yorker article, Nyad repeated some rather disturbing allegations against her high school swim coach, Jack Nelson. Nelson was an Olympian in 1956 and subsequently had a hall-of-fame coaching career in Florida. Nelson, now 82, denies the accusations.

    As article about the controversy is here:

    http://www.swimvortex.com/another-shocker-from-the-vault-diana-nyad-vs-jack-nelson/
  • DanSimonelliDanSimonelli San Diego CASenior Member
    '...Stoll began to gather information: "Let's figure out the nutrition; let's write to people. But nobody really knows."
    What they wanted to do had never been accomplished by anyone, male or female, at any age.'

    I guess this New Yorker writer doesn't read the WSJ! Or she may have realized that DN had 'apologized' for her untoward actions against Walter Poenish...oh, and that someone else had swum from Cuba to FL!!

    These two publications have sorely disappointed.
    Merely "rags" to me now, lacking any real confidence in their journalistic integrity!
  • bobswimsbobswims OregonCharter Member
    edited February 2014
    evmo said:
    You can't take this article seriously. The first sentence breaks my rule that no sentence shall exceed 50 words, (The rule itself is a joke because if a sentence is long enough that you find yourself counting the words, it is too long)
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited February 2014
    "a tale...
    ...full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing."

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member
    Sure does look like a wetsuit...
    JBirrrd

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • DanSimonelliDanSimonelli San Diego CASenior Member
    From the summary text under the video on the Motherboard site:

    "Before launching into any sport, it's important to know three things: the rules, the stakes, and when to quit. In the case of Diana Nyad, the resolute 64-year-old long-distance swimmer, acknowledging two out of three ain't bad."

    ;-)
  • bobswimsbobswims OregonCharter Member
    After the competition is over, Diana will write up the rules and declare herself the winner.
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandAdmin
    That's actually great. There have been some great Nat Geo Adventurer winners. Had Diana Nyad been associated with 2008 overall winner winner Sherpa Pemba Gyalje, I for one would have been sickened and it would have annoyed me far more than most of her stupid self-serving antics.

    http://www.loneswimmer.com The World's Most Popular Open Water Swimming Blog

  • gregocgregoc Charter Member
    @loneswimmer, I was refering to the 2014 winner, Kilian Jornet.


    "Kilian Jornet, the 2014 People's Choice Adventurer of the Year, is redefining what is possible in the mountains by blurring the lines between trail running and technical climbing. In 2013, the 26-year-old Catalonian set a new speed record running up and down the Matterhorn in two hours and 52 minutes. He also set a record on Mont Blanc. These peaks are part of his four-year Summits of My Life project, in which Jornet will attempt new speed records on the world's most iconic mountains."
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandAdmin
    edited March 2014
    Sorry @Gregoc I was at cross purposes there! Deleted my irrelevant non-sequitur!

    http://www.loneswimmer.com The World's Most Popular Open Water Swimming Blog

  • bruckbruck San FranciscoMember
    Diana's official YouTube channel has been scrubbed:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/DianaNyad/featured
  • “When someone says to me, ‘Are you going to do it again?’, I just shake my head and say, ‘Are you insane? Why would I do that again?’ There are other mountains to climb,” said Nyad. “This one was a 35-year dream, and it’s over. How could you have a better story and a better ending?”
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    Stranger things have happened in Key West.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conch_Republic
  • KNicholasKNicholas ArizonaCharter Member
    After September 11, I held my tongue. All of the public positions had been taken -- for, against, good, evil. I had nothing more to add. So I thought, Bring in the clowns, you know what I mean? That's why I've done a coupla years' worth of comedies.
    -- Jack Nicholson

    After Nyad, . . .
    IronMike
  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member
    I pondered posting to this thread again and am ambivalent but my one thought , after seeing Chloe stumble out of the water, face swollen, unsteady to say the least, tearful... was... THAT is what one looks like after 40+ hours in the water.

    And.. that is NOT what Nyad looked like at all.
    swimdailylakespraypavlicovIronMikerosemarymintloneswimmerdpm50

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • TheodoreTheodore Member
    edited August 2016
    So , what is the MSF view ? Did Diana swim the whole way and has her swim been recognised?
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    Having just witnessed Chloe's swim first hand, I can say that i now have a much greater respect for whatever DN did in the water but I aslo feel more disdain for the way it was marketed and misrepresented.
    jkormanikSpacemanspiffmjstaplesDredpiraterobtsIronMike

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • WarmWaterWarmWater SingaporeMember
    Which is probably going to be as good an appreciation as we're going to get.
  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    Anyone else find it humourous (that's for you Donal) that DN has titled her latest book "Find a Way"? ;)

    lakespray

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • pavlicovpavlicov NYCSenior Member
    edited October 2015

    Anytime this thread resurfaces, I get depressed. Can we bury everything about her, never say her name and forget that she exists? Unless of course, someone has a video or her being on the boat during her swim ...

    AnthonyMcCarley
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandAdmin

    @pavlivcov, No, not by me. Because then the only community who understands the issue would not be heard. We may be a tiny voice, but I know a lot of people have heard us and those that have can see and balance the lies and deception against the unanswered questions.

    suziedodslakesprayevmoAnthonyMcCarleyrosemarymintDanSimonellibluemermaid9

    http://www.loneswimmer.com The World's Most Popular Open Water Swimming Blog

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    When I even gently suggest to friends who mention her that there are a lot of unanswered questions about the help she revived, many will jump to her defense. People don't like to see doubt cast on their heroes and when someone gets played up in the media as a hero, anyone who questions that status is dismissed as just jealous or a naysayer. Took a long time for ppl to awaken to Lance Armstrong's drug use. Eventually they did. I think people don't want to accept that their superhuman heroes aren't as superhuman as they thought.

  • NoelFigartNoelFigart Lebanon, NHSenior Member

    Among my friends, when I am discussing swimming, I'll be asked if I want to be like Ms. Nyad. When I say quietly, "Not really, no. I prefer independent observation and better documentation," it seems to open the dialog in a way that people are willing to listen.

    dpm50suziedodsAnthonyMcCarleyrosemarymintJSwim
  • DanSimonelliDanSimonelli San Diego CASenior Member

    I'll tell you why it's important for our voices to be heard and to decry our anti-hero sentiment loud and clear...and for me it's not about whether she swam some long ass swim or not. It's that she's profiteering (anyone look at what she's getting for some of her speaking engagements?! And twice I've seen her bio billing her as "Olympian"...wtf?!) based on a life of lies, deceit, and ruining lives along her way! If we who know better don't continue to oppose the myth and fallacy, then the loud mouth will be the only one heard and the story (myth) becomes people's truth, misguided as that is.

    "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. - JFK

    loneswimmerdpm50JenAIronMikegregocrosemarymintslknightsuziedodsevmolakesprayjroyerAnthonyMcCarleyKatieBun
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandAdmin

    I had this lined up for a blog post, but I may as well put it here:

    Turning once again, and this time more generally, to the question of Swim Frauds, I would observe that there has never been a period in all these long centuries of which we boast when an absolute guarantee against deception, still less against complete fraud, could have been given to the general public.

    In the days of Webb and Ederle, [... ] the same wind which would have carried swimmers across the Channel might have driven away the Aspirants. There was always the chance, and it is that chance which has excited and befooled the imaginations of many Aspirants. Many are the tales that are told.

    We are assured that novel methods will be adopted, and when we see the originality of deceit, the ingenuity of misrepresentation, which those Motivational Speakers display, we may certainly prepare ourselves for every kind of novel stratagem and every kind of brutal and treacherous manœuvre. I think that no idea is so outlandish that it should not be considered and viewed with a searching, but at the same time, I hope, with a steady eye. We must never forget the solid assurances of the Marathon Swimming Community and prompt those with hard-won experience to get locally exercised.

    I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best reports are made, as they are being made by MSF and CS&PF and SBCSA and others, we shall prove ourselves once more able to defend our sport and our values, to ride out the storm of deceit, and to outlive the menace of individual frauds, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of the Marathon Swimmer's Forum– almost every one of them. That is the will of the average swimmers and the pioneers. The Channel and Marathon communities linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend their hard-won water, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength.

    Even though large tracts of the Media and some old and famous Associations have fallen or may fall into the grip of Conflicts of Interest and all the odious apparatus of fraud and self-promotion, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall swim to France, we shall swim in the seas and oceans, we shall swim with growing confidence and growing strength, we shall defend our community, whatever the cost may be. We shall swim from the beaches, we shall swim in the Channels and we shall swim in the lakes and in the rivers; we shall never cheat, and if, which I do not for a moment believe, this sport or a large part of it were misled and corrupt, then our community of the water, piloted by True Pilots and observed by True Observers, would carry on the struggle, until, in Webb's good time, the Honest Swimmer, in all their elegance and glory, steps out of the water to the rescue of our trust and the liberation of our sport.

    The historically-minded amongst you will recognise it as a repurposed version of Churchill's Fight Them On the Beaches House of Commons June 1940 speech.

    suziedodsevmoDanSimonelliJSwim

    http://www.loneswimmer.com The World's Most Popular Open Water Swimming Blog

  • swimrn62swimrn62 NY, NYMember

    Hysterical!

    If anyone wants to question her face to face, she's giving a free talk at the Hilton Hotel in NYC.
    Link is here: https://www.runmyclub.com/hudson/eventcalendar.asp?id=208881 Promo code is Diana for free entry.

  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member

    She is also at the Marin JCC, Oct 29 I was offered a ticket. #1- I don't think I could bear to be in the same room and #2- my tendency to speak off the cuff could get me thrown out...

    DanSimonellilakesprayssthomas

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • DanSimonelliDanSimonelli San Diego CASenior Member

    I dared to look at the runmyclub link to see...and sure enough, there it is again!!!

    "...and how was she able to complete a swim in her sixties that she couldn’t as a young Olympian"

    Dumbfknfounded!

  • lakespraylakespray Senior Member

    suziedods said: She is also at the Marin JCC, Oct 29 I was offered a ticket. #1- I don't think I could bear to be in the same room and #2- my tendency to speak off the cuff could get me thrown out...

    Suzie it's my express wish that you attend and speak off the cuff. In fact I'm guessing a bunch of us would like to see that. Maybe we should start a Kick-starter campaign for your possible post attendance legal fee's

    ;)

    mjstaplesslknightIronMikeloneswimmerAnthonyMcCarleyJSwimrosemarymintssthomas
  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    lakespray said: Suzie it's my express wish that you attend and speak off the cuff. In fact I'm guessing a bunch of us would like to see that. Maybe we should start a Kick-starter campaign for your possible post attendance legal fee's

    Hey, there's a Kickstarter I could get behind! The only reward I want is a video of you questioning her!

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member

    I need to have a pre-event prep( kind of like the SAT) , or time off work to re-read this thread.

    IronMikessthomas

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandAdmin

    I would love the opportunity to tackle her again, as my main regret is being too polite during the infamous review call, though at that stage we hadn't realised how she would continue to lie.

    I'd keep it simple and focused and direct. My first thoughts:

    "You have repeatedly claimed a world record swim from Cuba to Florida and claimed that you have presented proof of the swim and of the current that assisted you. Two years later, neither are true. The marathon swimming community in general who are best qualified to understand your claims, does not believe you. Why do you continue to present such lies to the public?"

    suziedodsDanSimonelliKatieBun

    http://www.loneswimmer.com The World's Most Popular Open Water Swimming Blog

  • swimrn62swimrn62 NY, NYMember

    I'll offer a place to stay in Manhattan for any forum member who wants to ask (polite-ish) questions.

    pavlicovsuziedodsJenA
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin

    malinakaJenAloneswimmerdavid_barraAnthonyMcCarleyOnceaRunnerwendyv34JSwimDanSimonelliIronMikegregocSpacemanspiffrosemarymintssthomasKatieBunTheo
  • mauprietomauprieto Barcelona, Spain and San Francisco, CAMember

    DanSimonelli said: I dared to look at the runmyclub link to see...and sure enough, there it is again!!!

    "...and how was she able to complete a swim in her sixties that she couldn’t as a young Olympian"

    Dumbfknfounded!

    I've seen here that DN refers to having completed her "personal olympics" by "successfully swimming eighty-nine miles in the open ocean, in twenty-seven hours and thirty-eight minutes". I guess that's what makes her an "Olympian" (according to her rule book)?

    DanSimonellievmo
  • DanSimonelliDanSimonelli San Diego CASenior Member

    I'm wondering...if Evan has set some kind of bells/whistles or perhaps a time bomb to blow up this most commented forum thread once it hits 1000 comments...?!
    :-O
    I'm certain it will hit 1000 given DN's propensity for continued fodder for our amusement and disdain! <:-P

    evmoIronMike
  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    mauprieto said: I've seen here that DN refers to having completed her "personal olympics" by "successfully swimming eighty-nine miles in the open ocean, in twenty-seven hours and thirty-eight minutes". I guess that's what makes her an "Olympian" (according to her rule book)?

    Not only that @mauprieto, but that article says she was "the first person ever to swim...across lake Ontario." But as far as I can find, she was the first to swim it N to S, but was the 7th to cross the lake, not the "first ever."

    DanSimonelli

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • JenAJenA Charter Member
    edited October 2015

    @IronMike said: Not only that @mauprieto, but that article says she was "the first person ever to swim...across lake Ontario." But as far as I can find, she was the first to swim it N to S, but was the 7th to cross the lake, not the "first ever."

    First ever to swim across Lake O? That's outlandish! All of Canada was united when Marilyn Bell (age 16, 1954) became the first person to swim across Lake O, persevering over Florence Chadwick, who pulled out early. A crowd of 50,000-300,000 people greeted her in Toronto. Think about that. Possibly the greatest crowd in OWS, even if the media accounts differ. :) I think I read somewhere that the papers printed 13 "extra" editions ("extra, extra, read all about it"?) to cover the swim's breaking details. It was covered nationally by radio... it was a really big deal in Canada. :) Still is. A couple of years ago, a Toronto ferry was named after her. It's a fantastic movie available on DVD for $4-5 USD.

    Nyad swam eighth, according to Solo Swims Ontario: http://soloswims.com/swims.htm She was, perhaps the first attempt on a double-crossing? Her N->S swim was the first leg of a double attempt, which was unsuccessful. http://soloswims.com/nyad.htm

    mauprietoDanSimonelli
  • Leonard_JansenLeonard_Jansen Charter Member

    suziedods She is also at the Marin JCC, Oct 29 I was offered a ticket. #1- I don't think I could bear to be in the same room and #2- my tendency to speak off the cuff could get me thrown out...

    I heard that a great white shark was seen killing a seal near Alcatraz recently. Given that, and the fact that she'll be in the area, I suggest that you invite her to your Champion of Champions race on the 31st.

    -LBJ

    wendyv34gregocsuziedodsJustSwimDanSimonellirosemarymint

    “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde

  • mauprietomauprieto Barcelona, Spain and San Francisco, CAMember

    It seems like DN will be interviewed on radio on October 26 from 10 AM to 11AM (California time) and taking on callers for 1 hour. The program is “Forum” with Michael Krasny - KQED-FM 88.5. This is a LIVE call-in program. The number to call to ask her questions is 866-733-6786 (866-SF-Forum) email: forum@kqed.org.

    loneswimmerdpm50JenAsuziedods
  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    mauprieto said: It seems like DN will be interviewed on radio on October 26 from 10 AM to 11AM (California time) and taking on callers for 1 hour. The program is “Forum” with Michael Krasny - KQED-FM 88.5. This is a LIVE call-in program. The number to call to ask her questions is 866-733-6786 (866-SF-Forum) email: forum@kqed.org.

    Is there a link to the show where people can listen? I wouldn't be able to during the time it's aired, but would be interested to hear it later.

    IronMike
  • mauprietomauprieto Barcelona, Spain and San Francisco, CAMember

    dpm50 said:

    mauprieto said: It seems like DN will be interviewed on radio on October 26 from 10 AM to 11AM (California time) and taking on callers for 1 hour. The program is “Forum” with Michael Krasny - KQED-FM 88.5. This is a LIVE call-in program. The number to call to ask her questions is 866-733-6786 (866-SF-Forum) email: forum@kqed.org.

    Is there a link to the show where people can listen? I wouldn't be able to during the time it's aired, but would be interested to hear it later.

    Here you have the show's radio archives: http://www.kqed.org/radio/programs/audio-archives.jsp?wsvc=1&pgmid=RD19

    dpm50
  • bobswimsbobswims OregonCharter Member
    edited October 2015

    "Nyad gives the controversy that followed her victory — public skepticism from other open water marathon swimmers who doubted her account of the swim — a single paragraph in the book, "

    "(For anyone still looking for more data to confirm Nyad's path through the Florida Straits, she says she has the GPS devices used during her swim in a bank vault for safekeeping.)"

    "Maybe some readers will find inspiration in Nyad's triumphs over adversity. In "Find a Way," though, Nyad's ambitions don't come across as triumphant so much as needy.

    In person, Nyad can be abrasive and takes up all the oxygen in the room. Her memoir reads much the same way, as if by being the loudest to proclaim the preciousness of life she can quiet her unresolved demons."

    http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/find-charm-fans-swimmer-diana-nyad-34572063

    DanSimonellidpm50
  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    I have to wonder... did this start out as just a desire to accomplish something significant and then go over the top, as she wanted it so much she clung to the myth? Or did she start out intending to hype things up without actually swimming the distance?

    She clings so stubbornly to her version of how things went... and my mind goes back to Rosie Ruiz, who never gave up her claim that she won the Boston Marathon, when, in fact, she jumped into the fray in the last few miles and crossed the finish line first. And in both instances, it seems there's delusion involved.

    Claiming this sort of sports triumph seems to be as much about the desperate need for recognition that a person could get as a result as the possible money, although in Nyad's case, the money to buy the publicity and profit from the swim is so much greater.

    IronMikeDanSimonelli
  • smithsmith O-H-I-OMember

    To date, the record for the longest attempted unassisted swim from Cuba to Florida is held by Penny Palfrey. Simple, transparent, and true.

    loneswimmerDanSimonelliKatieBundpm50

    Lactate is for wimps.

  • mauprietomauprieto Barcelona, Spain and San Francisco, CAMember

    "the greatest long-distance swimmer in the history of the sport", "the longest unaided open ocean swim in history",....

    DN's book reviewed in the Wall Street Journal. The reviewer is the publisher of Skeptic magazine, but he fails to make any mention about the questions raised by the MSF.

    Article here: http://www.wsj.com/articles/just-keep-swimming-1445618407

    For simplicity, pasted below as well:

    By MICHAEL SHERMER Oct. 23, 2015 12:40 p.m. ET

    I first met Diana Nyad in 1982 on the eve of the first 3,000-mile nonstop transcontinental bicycle Race Across America (RAAM). She was covering the race for ABC’s Wide World of Sports; I was riding in it. I knew of her 28-mile swim around Manhattan, her 102-mile open-ocean swim from North Bimini in the Bahamas to Juno Beach, Fla., and her first unsuccessful attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida. So at a pre-race dinner in Los Angeles, with my nerves in my throat about undertaking my first transcontinental crossing, I asked her what kept her going through success and failure.

    I don’t remember her exact words. But the single-minded intensity and strength of will that came through in her presence inspired me over the next 10 days to make it to New York.

    Diana Nyad is a force of personality that anyone who meets her never forgets. This drive and dynamism is well captured in the title of her moving memoir “Find a Way.” She has—and her book shows us how we all can.

    The sport of long-distance open-ocean swimming is like no other. RAAM riders take periodic motor home stops for hot showers and meals. Tour de France riders get massaged in hotels between stages. Even Mount Everest climbers stop and rest in tents, sometimes for days. Ms. Nyad’s sport allows none of this. In her four attempts to make the crossing from Cuba to Florida between 2011 and 2013—the narrative thread of her book—she was not permitted to even hang on to the side of the kayaks that trailed her, much less climb aboard the lead catamaran for a break. She had to tread water while eating, drinking, adjusting fogged-over goggles, or donning anti-jellyfish gear to ward off the deadly box jellies whose stings almost killed her and ended her 2011 and 2012 attempts.

    While swimming, Ms. Nyad’s head came out of the water to breathe 52 times per minute in between the approximately 200,000 strokes of the 110.86-mile trip. But unlike ultramarathon athletes and alpinists, she took in no magnificent scenery. She spent most of her time staring into the inky-black abyss, broken only by an underwater streamer dangling from a pole deployed from her support boat, which at night was lit by LED lights to guide her in a straight line as waves and currents constantly directed her away from her goal of the Florida Keys. Ms. Nyad narrates a typical evening stretch: “The waves are slapping all night long. . . . Because I can’t judge the feel of the waves on my face, I am thwacked by walls of seawater. I gag. I vomit right into the mask. It’s very difficult, now that my fingers have lost both dexterity and feel—a normal occurrence after many hours swimming in the ocean but magnified by the latex gloves—to pinch the underside of the mask material, pry my teeth from the retainers, and lift it above my nose to clear the vomit. I swim through the entire night, violently seasick. I’m not even capable of looking for daylight.”

    As most of the world knows (media coverage was extensive), in 2013 Ms. Nyad finally made it to Florida on her fifth try in 52 hours, 54 minutes and 18 seconds. It is the longest unaided open ocean swim in history, and she did it at age 64. “Find a Way,” however, is not just a recounting of that successful crossing, but it also covers the four previous failures, with many thoughtful reflections on relationships and the human condition.

    In addition to being the greatest long-distance swimmer in the history of the sport, Ms. Nyad is also gay and an atheist—and she handles both subjects with candor and grace. We learn that she was in a decade-long relationship with a woman she calls the love of her life, but since that ended in 1994 she hasn’t found a romantic partner. Best friends, such as Bonnie Stoll, who is also her coach, have stood as reliable proxies for intimacy.

    It’s hard not to see Ms. Nyad’s almost inhuman ability to withstand athletic pain as connected to the sexual abuse she suffered from the time she was 5 at the hands of her father, a con man who finally skipped town ahead of his creditors when Ms. Nyad was 14. She tries to find some good in “that conscienceless bastard for his outlandish and engaging spirit” and convince herself that “weeding out the good from the bad” is “part of our growth, isn’t it?” Maybe, but there is no good could to be found in Ms. Nyad’s high school swim coach, who molested her at his home, in his office, in the bathroom . . . anywhere he thought he could get away with it. The rage she felt at the violation was eventually channeled into a steely-eyed determination to be as close to invincible as humanly possible.

    In a chapter entitled “Atheist in Awe” she recalls a trip to the Amazon in which her hosts’ puppy went missing for five days. Ms. Nyad was especially sympathetic because she had a dog at home who died during this trip, leaving her distraught. Late one night Ms. Nyad couldn’t sleep, so she went out into a field to write in her journal about her beloved canine, Moses. All of a sudden, her hosts’ missing puppy appeared out of dark and crawled into her lap. “I’m quite sure the interpretation could easily be made that this little puppy was some kind of sign from the universe, Moses’s spirit reincarnated for me to hold close,” she reflects on the human propensity to believe that everything happens for a reason. “To me, it was a sad passing followed by a happy coincidence, a cue to embrace the chaos, in itself a paradox of joy and sorrow, life and death existing in the same moment, neither canceling the other out.”

    The story and her elegant deconstruction of it reminds me of Oprah Winfrey’s response upon discovering Ms. Nyad’s atheism in an interview. “But you’re in the awe,” Oprah said, as if one can’t be an atheist in awe. “I don’t understand why anybody would find a contradiction in that,” Ms. Nyad responded. “I can stand at the beach’s edge with the most devout Christian, Jew, Buddhist—go on down the line—and weep with the beauty of this universe and be moved by all of humanity. All the billions of people who have lived before us, who have loved and hurt and suffered. So to me, my definition of God is humanity and is the love of humanity.”

    Ms. Nyad’s book is an inspiration. And though the author is a multifaceted person, the Cuba swim, she writes, “has come to emblemize all I believe in, my worldview. Reaching stroke after stroke toward this particular horizon is my version of Browning’s reaching for heaven. The vision of it, the planning, the training, the unwavering belief in the face of overwhelming odds—this swim demands and defines the person I want to be. The person I can admire.” Would that all of us would reach so far.

    —Mr. Shermer is the publisher of Skeptic magazine.

    dpm50
  • pavlicovpavlicov NYCSenior Member
    edited October 2015

    I have a question and/or suggestions.

    My Q: Is there a webpage where issues of Diana Nyad swim(s) are summarized? Something written without too much personal attachment and without too much marathon swimmer lingo?

    Why: I have had several very smart (and truly wanted to know, but not a swimmer) friends ask me to give them more information about DN and the issues with her swim(s). So far, I was sending them links to lone swimmer blog posts but they are just too personal, too long and too hard to follow when skimmed through only. Unfortunately, it left my friends confused because they never took the hours to read everything.

    I like what @Niek wrote above in his post but again, it gets a bit too personal and is not that clear to a lay person.

    Suggestion: Would it be possible to create a webpage on MSF website which would very calmly state issues with DN swim, maybe in bullet points with links to stuff?

    I know I am asking for too much and I know that even though it sounds simple, it will not be easy.

    Maybe several people can have access to the webpage and be able to populate it and develop it. It can start as:

    1) Missing documentation (ex. gps coordinates, timing, observer logs):

    • DN says that it was given to 'higher marathon swimming organization' (link here, here)
    • Organizations that confirmed to never receive such documentation:
      • Marathon Swimmers Federation (ask for confirmation email@here)
      • Catalina Swimming Association (ask for confirmation email@here)

    2) Lack of independent observers who supposed to be unbiased and independently document the swim in at least 30 min intervals

    • DN observers were here friend (name, link, proof, link of proof) and ...

    Etc.

    I would love to help if needed. Maybe I can populate links and do the legwork.

    I think having such a concise webpage with links written in a bit 'lawyer-ish, nothing personal' language would help.

    Of course, you can tell me that such a webpage already exists and then I will be very grateful for the link.

    Thank you,

    Martina

    IronMikemauprietosuziedodsDanSimonelliJenAdudleymv
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