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61yr old Female swimmer gives it her best but...
by stevenew,posted Aug 9 2011 6:19PM
Conditions were perfect when she left Havana Cuba on Sunday evening, the water was glasslike like we see Lake Ponchartrain a lot but it can also get very choppy very quick and that’s what happen as 61-year-old marathon swimmer Diana Nyad felt her right shoulder seize up with pain Monday afternoon as the ocean swells now rolled over her head and then she was struck by an asthma attack, her first ever, and struggled to breathe. But she kept swimming. But twelve hours later, halfway between Cuba and her destination of Key West, Fla., Ms. Nyad was treading water when she began vomiting. She then reluctantly allowed herself to be pulled aboard a support boat named the Bellisimo, where she was quickly wrapped in blankets. After swimming nearly 29 hours, Ms. Nyad abandoned her quest to complete the 60-hour, 103-mile journey, spread across three days, between Cuba and the United States. “It was my decision to stop and nobody else’s,” Ms. Nyad said during a phone interview Tuesday morning moments after arriving at a Key West marina. “I’m deeply grieved and disappointed, but I can hold my head up high. We pictured that moment of me crawling up on that Key West shore. We knew it was my year and my time, even at 61.” She added, “It was a fairy tale, but the fairy tale didn’t come true.” Her doctor, Michael Broder, said Ms. Nyad had not suffered from dehydration but was violently vomiting when she was hoisted out of the water. “Physically, she is exhausted and mentally she is exhausted,” Dr. Broder said. “Considering what she has been through, she looks pretty good.” Ms. Nyad said she had no regrets. She had concluded that the combination of her injured shoulder and the asthma attack made continuing impossible. “It was over, I knew it,” she said. “My body was at the absolute very end. Will power wasn’t a part of it anymore.”
On Tuesday morning, she said that her goal had been to demonstrate to people in their 60s that “life is not over” and that the age of “60 is the new 40.” At the age of 29, Ms. Nyad set a record for the longest ocean swim: 102.5 miles from Bimini in the Bahamas, to Jupiter, Fla. A year earlier, she had tried to swim the Cuba-to-Key West passage. Strong currents and rough water had banged her body against a metal shark cage, forcing her to quit after swimming 41 hours and 49 minutes. This time, she tried the swim without a shark cage despite warnings that the warm waters are infested with sharks. She was guarded by a flotilla of boats equipped with satellites, global position systems, advanced navigation systems and shark shields. Ms. Nyad said she did not feel as if she had let them down, or the thousands of fans who had followed the progress of her swim on Facebook and Twitter. “I’ll say this for myself and my team — there is no way 30 hours should have brought me to my knees,” she said. “Even yesterday afternoon, I really believed I was going to walk up on that shore, even though it wouldn’t be the way I had wanted it to be.” that.” For people over 60, she said, the goal should be “to live a life with no regrets and no worries about what you are going to do with your time. Fill it with passion. Be your best self.”