At age 62, extreme swimmer Diana Nyad swam farther and for longer than ever during her fourth attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida. She swam in the company of sharks for 41 hours and 45 minutes, suffering 9 Box Jellyfish stings. After being lifted onto an escort vessel during a thunder and lightning storm, Diana fearlessly inquired: “When can I get back in? I want full transparency that I was out. But I have plenty left in me and I want to go on.” However, the experts on her boat refused to let her continue given the weather conditions, which were lethally dangerous to both Diana and her crew.
"The toughest athlete in the world is a 62 year-old woman."
- D.L. Stewart, Dayton Daily News
Nyad first took on the 103-mile (166 kilometer) swim at age 28 in 1978, but surrendered to exhaustion less than halfway through the journey. She made two more attempts at the epic swim in 2011, but multiple jellyfish stings and an 11-hour asthma attack put a stop to her efforts. Just days before her 63rd birthday, this was Diana's fourth and most successful venture through the stormy, predator-infested waters.
Diana Nyad was one of the first women to swim around the entire island of Manhattan. She remains the world record-holder for longest swim in the ocean, which she achieved by swimming 102.5 miles from the Bahamas to Florida. In 2011 Elizabeth Streb and her company honored Nyad with the STREB Action Maverick Award. The STREB website elucidates the strong correlation between the careers of Nyad and the star of our film, Elizabeth Streb:
"Diana Nyad and Elizabeth Streb - two brave women, over 60, pursuing feats that challenge our ideas of what is possible - inspiring generations into action."