Diana Nyad's Headshot

Diana Nyad

Champion long distance swimmer and sports reporter - Panelist Blurb

Diana Nyad (born August 22, 1949 in New York City) is a former world record-holding American swimmer and public radio contributor.

Over two days in 1979, Nyad swam from Bimini to Florida, setting a distance record for non-stop swimming without a wetsuit that still stands today. She broke numerous world records, including the 45-year-old mark for circling Manhattan Island (7 hrs, 57 min) in 1975. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1986. Nyad was honored with her induction in the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2003.

She currently provides a weekly five-minute radio piece on sports for KCRW called The Score

(heard during KCRW's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered"), as well as for the Marketplace radio program. She formerly hosted the public radio program "The Savvy Traveler."

Nyad graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Lake Forest College in 1973. She is a lesbian.

On July 10, 2010, at the age of 60, she began open water training for a 60-hour, 103-mile swim from Cuba to Florida, a task she had failed to finish thirty years previously. When asked her motivation, she replied, "Because I'd like to prove to the other 60-year-olds that it is never too late to start your dreams." She was scheduled to make the swim in August/September 2010, but bad weather forced her to cancel; she now plans to do the swim in July 2011.

Nyad's second attempt to complete this swim has gained the attention of thousands of supporters, including the official sponsorship by Secret Deodorant, which has created an entire social platform on Facebook for fans to share encouraging messages and support.

NOTE: Bio updated on June 14, 2011.