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‘Never ever give up’: Grandmother first to swim Cuba to Fla. without shark cage

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A 64-year-old grandmother set a record and sent a message Monday when she wrapped up non-stop 103-mile swim from Cuba to the Florida Keys:

The record was making the swim without a shark cage – which protects against not only sharks but also keeps off waves that make swimming more difficult. Diana Nyad became the first person to do it.

Screen shot: PBS News Hour

The message “Never ever give up.”

Nyad, a Los Angeles resident making her fifth attempt at the feat, made the 103-mile swim from Hemingway Marina in Havana to Key West in 52 hours, 54 minutes and 18.6 seconds, staggering from the surf on Smathers Beach early Monday afternoon to cheers from supporters and congratulations from world figures.

Previous tries were in 1978, 2011 and 2012.

On Monday, she made them all worth it.

Nyad tweeted:

‘I got 3 messages: 1 is we should #NeverEverGiveUp , 2 is #NeverTooOld to chase dreams , 3 is #NeverASolitarySport it’s a team.’

The responses poured in. Notably from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is 65 and, with three years running on the Obama presidency, probably thinks a good deal about being too old to chase a dream. She also thinks a good deal of herself, since it’s tough to tell from her tweet whether she’s praising Nyad or just bragging.


Clinton’s one-time rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, our current President Barack Obama, was actually kind of classy and understated for a change.


Meanwhile, actor James Woods spoke for the rest of us, with unrestrained admiration.





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