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www.wmfd.com - A long-distance swimmer has finally achieved what she first set out to accomplish in 1978, swimming from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Florida, without a shark cage. }}" />

   
 
 
Diana Nyad Successfully Swims From Cuba To Key West

Story By: Larry Stine

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  Original Published: 9/3/2013A long-distance swimmer has finally achieved what she first set out to accomplish in 1978, swimming from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Florida, without a shark cage. Andrew Spencer reports Diana Nyad wasn't about to let jellyfish stand in the way of her dream. Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad is doing much better since being loaded onto an ambulance Monday afternoon. Exhausted, sunburned and dehydrated, she struggled to her feet after swimming from Cuba to the Florida Keys. "With all the experience I have, especially in this ocean, I never knew I would suffer the way I did," she said. She had dreamed of this day since she was eight years old. Her first four attempts failed as she was beaten down by rough seas, jellyfish stings, an asthma attack and a lightning storm. "My whole mantra this year was find a way," Nyad said. "You don't like it? It's not doing well? Find a way. We should never ever give up." At one point, Nyad says she had swallowed so much salt water she started vomiting. It took the 64-year-old nearly 53 hours to swim the 103 miles from Havana to Key West. "It was really rough that first day, Saturday, after the start, and I just said, 'Forget about the surface up," she said. At the end of her fifth, and what was to be her final attempt, Nyad was welcomed by a crowd of people celebrating. Even the president's Twitter account congratulated her for becoming the first person to swim the distance without a protective cage.  "I'm not sure when the next person will do it," the message said. "That's how hard it is to get everything right."  It took a team of 35 people to get Nyad to Florida, including divers to watch for sharks and get jellyfish out of her way.
   
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