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Lesbian long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad falls short on Cuba-to-Florida swim

MIAMI – Diana Nyad’s lifelong dream is to swim 103 miles from Cuba to Florida. It is a seemingly impossible goal to cross the Straits of Florida without using a shark cage and to brave to turbulent weather.

Today, the 62-year-old legendary long-distance swimmer had to be pulled out of the water after almost 42 hours of swimming across the Straits of Florida, according to her blogger Candace Hogan.

Nyad started her swim on Aug. 20 in Havana.

Hogan blogged that two severe storm cells, numerous jellyfish stings and shark sightings prompted Nyad’s crew chief to cancel the swim. She wrote:

Fully alert and articulate, [Nyad] asked, “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 storm went on, too. In a long discussion with her core team, she realized that the obstacles against this swim were too great and agreed at dawn to return to Key West by boat, for the sake of the safety of her team and herself.

It was Nyad’s fourth attempt at conquering her dream. Nyad had hoped to celebrate her 63rd birthday on Wednesday by landing in the Florida Keys.
Nyad, a lesbian who has been inducted in the Women’s Sports Hall of Fame, made her first attempt in 1978.

Ken Williams is Editor in Chief of SDGLN. He can be reached at ken@sdgln.com, @KenSanDiego on Twitter, or by calling toll-free to (877) 727-5446, ext. 713.