Diana Nyad Fact Check


Town Hall Seattle transcript, 23 NOV 2015


[Question in progress]

AM:…how do you deal with that sort of thing [i.e. the “so-called experts” and doubters].

DN: You know, number one…I think that we are living in what you might call the Lance Armstrong era in sports, and anyone who achieves something seemingly outrageous, um, is questioned, so I have to sort of keep that in perspective.

Also most of the people who came up with the challenge are true bona fide marathon swimmers with great records, and they were respectful about it. They said that they just wanted to get on a phone call with my navigator and me and a couple of other people from our swim to really go over all the science and the actual vectors and where were you at this time, and John Bartlett went over every quarter-of-a-mile and said, “here, I’ve got my electronic GPS gear and said, “here’s where we were, here’s how fast the current was running and what direction, here’s how fast Diana was swimming and what direction. Those vectors mean this. When she would stop,” and he had it exactly at 39 hours 38 minutes or whatever he said, “we did go east and we wound up at this particular point.”

And he went through it, and a large part of that swimming community said, “congratulations, I hope you don’t mind that we made you go through it.”

We had two independent observers on our swim, who were not…first of all, nobody was paid…on the entire expedition, not one person was paid. But we had two people who were not part of the team. And actually, if you talk to the other swimmers here, you’ll find out that you are allowed to ratify a swim by having even your husband or your best friend or your son or your daughter be the actual observer who takes very specific long notes for every minute and can say at the end, "never did she touch the boat, get out on a boat, hang on to kayak, use flippers." Um, you know, all the things that would make a swim legal.

So, you know, there are still a couple of haters out there. There are still people who don't believe Neil Armstrong ever walked on the moon. I can't do much about them, but I tell 'ya, we were 44 people, so anybody who thought that I got on the boat and slept for 12 hours while we motored to the next position, um, it just, it couldn't be done. We were a noble group, and I uh, I never lost any sleep over what we accomplished, and nobody will ever take it away from us.

I thank you.


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