All The Lies She Could Not See: TIME’s “Deeper Story” Behind NYAD

Diana Nyad says her lies are “ancient history.” A recent TIME piece proves otherwise.

In an August Los Angeles Times article, Diana Nyad says her fabrications are “ancient history.” However, a recent TIME item demonstrates once again that you shouldn’t believe a serial liar when she says she’s stopped lying.

From “What Makes Diana Nyad Swim? An Absolutely Killing Ambition,” The Village Voice, Jane Shapiro, 2 Feb 1976.

TIME journalist Alice Park told “The Deeper Story Behind Netflix’s Nyad” by asking Diana Nyad questions and believing her answers.

First, though, Park shows she misunderstands the fundamental controversy regarding Nyad’s crossing:

Marathon swimmers remain divided over whether the swim was “unassisted” or “assisted.”

Only a few marathon swimmers — if any — cling to the “unassisted” myth, but we do disagree on whether she completed the crossing under her own power.

[NYAD:] “I understand why someone might be rankled if they don’t get any recognition for all of that training and achievement.”

What rankles marathon swimmers — most of whom don’t thirst for wide recognition — is that the most recognized person in the sport is a serial liar who cares little about marathon swimming beyond the self-aggrandizement she can extract from it.
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Two Journalists Tell Us What’s Fact And Fiction In NYAD. As If!

Two new articles try to help us sort through the unsortable mess called NYAD.

Detail from an image in The Wall Street Journal’s article about how Nyad acquired her home.

Article #1: “Netflix’s Diana Nyad biopic: What’s fact and what’s fiction?”

From the Los Angeles Times’ Josh Rottenberg:

Criticisms over Nyad’s history of making inflated claims about her career have cast a shadow over the inspirational film.

It’s not just her “inflated claims about her career” but her exaggerations, hyperbole, and outright lies about practically everything.

“Nyad” co-directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin . . . say they did extensive research on Nyad before jumping into the film.

I would love to know what their “extensive research” entailed. Did they look into other fictitious swims Nyad claims to have completed? Did they look at her despicable treatment of other athletes?

Or did they talk only to Steven Munatones, an uncredited advisor on the film, who would believe Nyad walked from Cuba to Florida if she told him she did?

“She is unabashedly a complicated, gray character in real life and we went to great lengths, as did Annette, to portray that in its full glory,” Vasarhelyi told The Times.

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Diana Nyad’s New Minimalist Website Leaves Plenty Of Room For A Maximalist Liar

In Diana’s new website, she and her handlers try to sweep 50 years of lies and self-obsession under the rug. They needed a bigger rug and a shorter page.

[Update, 28 Nov 2023: Sometime within the last 10 days, grew into a multi-page site. I’ve linked below to archived versions when necessary.]

Last week, after over a month of displaying “CHECK BACK IMMINENTLY for the launch of the new Diana Nyad Website,” the upgrade went live. The entire site now amounts to a single page titled:

A Reflection, by Diana Nyad.

Diana’s handlers must have wanted to keep the update brief to limit opportunities for “misstatements.” However, even a single page offers Nyad plenty of room to lie.

Evidence in Nyad’s “Reflection” suggests her handlers knew this, so they continued trying to rein her in:

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