Kickass Woman Of The Day: Diana Nyad, 64, Swims From Cuba To Florida Without A Shark Tank

Proud of that first headstand you did in yoga? Sit down, girl, and show some respect to 64-year-old endurance swimmer Diana Nyad, who made history yesterday when she swam 110 miles from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage for protection.

The fifth time was the charm for Nyad, who has been attempting the swim since 1978. It’s dangerous on multiple levels — the deadly sharks and jellyfish that populate the Florida Straight, her low body temperature after nearly 53 hours hours in the ocean, and the dangerous amount of calories she burns (when she attempted the swim in 2011, she lost 29 lbs. while swimming). Nyad completed her journey surrounded by her support staff via kayak and a shark diver, who helped keep predators at bay.

When Nyad finally made it to Smathers Beach in Key West on Monday, she did so with her  tongue and lips swollen by the elements. But before she received the medical care she deeded, she had three things to say to the hundreds who gathered to cheer her ashore:

“One is, we should never ever give up. Two is, you’re never too old to chase your dreams. Three is, it looks like a solitary sport, but it’s a team.”

Since completing her historic swim, she has been congratulated by President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

president obama congratulates diana  nyad

hillary clinton congratulates diana nyad

Congratulations, Diana Nyad!  You’re an inspiration to us all.

[NBC News]
[Los Angeles Times]

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[Image via Getty]