Whether you are interested in swimming as a sport or not, by now you have most likely heard about Diana Nyad’s 110 mile long swim from Cuba to Florida.
Most publicity has been positive since Nyad’s exhausting 53 hours of traveling through the waters, but of course there are the skeptics. Recently on social media and the online Marathon’s Swimmers Forum, many swimmers have been debating on whether they believe Nyad completed her swim honestly.
The 64-year-old has attempted to complete this swim four other times prior. Now, skeptics are wondering if she was aided from the boat following her – either by hanging onto it or getting inside of it. In 2012, Nyad got onto the boat during rough patches of weather and jumped back into the water in attempts to finish, but her team released the news that she was inside the boat rather late and was criticized.
Long distance swimmers are questioning how Nyad’s speeds increased after she had already been swimming for 27 hours. While it seems like that would be impossible to start swimming faster, some experts in the field explain why this could be the case and that Nyad may not be lying.
Mitch Roffer, of Melbourne-based Roffer’s Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service Inc., was questioned on whether he believed Nyad’s swim was a hoax and he believed it was not.
“Many times that current runs west-east and you’re constantly fighting the current if you’re swimming north. In this case, it was in the shape of an “S”, and the angle was almost exactly from Havana to Key West,” Roffer told the Associated Press.
Nyad’s navigator, John Bartlett, said the spike in speed was due to the fast-moving Gulf Stream working in her favor.
“At some points we were doing almost 4 miles an hour,” Bartlett told the Associate Press. “That’s just the way it works. If the current is in your favor at all, that explains it.”
Obviously since this is not an easy swim to accomplish, people are going to be uncertain on whether this is the truth.
I am not a diehard fan of swimming, nor have I ever swam in competition, but I really believe Nyad completed the journey without assistance. If I was a long distance swimmer I may have more doubt, but I really think she did it.
Why would she lie or cheat during this particular attempt? She has been defeated by the waters four times before and was not able to complete the swim, so why would she lie about completing it on her fifth attempt? Maybe that would be someone else’s reasoning that she did cheat or lie because it was in fact her fifth try and she didn’t want to try anymore. To me it seems unlikely that she would decide to be dishonest this time around.
It makes sense to me that the current could also be in her favor to help her throughout the swim. If the waves are traveling in the same direction as she is swimming how would that not impact her speed?
After four other attempts, Nyad could train specifically on her weaknesses. She knew what went wrong the other times and during her training. I’m sure she had many things to focus on so she could finally finish. When you read about Nyad, or listen to interviews she is so positive and enthusiastic. If you’re going to try and swim 110 miles you’re going to have to believe in yourself or you wouldn’t get into the water. She had been dreaming about this for 35 years, and after her completion of the swim, she told CBS news to, “never give up.”
It wasn’t about the glory or breaking a record. It was something she wanted to do for herself and her dream. Even when the Today show asked her why she believed it was different this time around, she spoke of all the people along with her on the trip and did not boast of herself.
You may believe it’s impossible for Nyad to complete this swim without help, but her attitude shows me otherwise.