In search of the truth about Diana Nyad



Documents from the International Swimming Hall of Fame Archives and Other Sources


Articles, et al. | Standings/Rankings | Misc./General | Letters | Swimming World columns | WPMSF Bulletins | Press Releases





Date   Source Title/Description
1973 20 Aug Chicago Tribune

“Diana Nyad’s free spirit is challenged by swimming”

1975 6 Oct Daily News (NY)

“The Unsinkable Diana Nyad”

1976 1 Aug New York Sunday News

“The Challengers of the Channel”: [page 1]  [page 2]  [page 3]   [page 4]

1978 21 Jun Barrie Examiner (ON)

“Swimming Hall Of Fame Director To Speak At Neptunes’ Banquet”

“As a hobby, Mr. Dawson managed a women’s marathon swim team which included Olympic swimmers Marty Sinn and Diana Nyad.” (Dawson was a close associate of Nyad so would have known that she wasn’t an Olympian.)

1978 9 Aug Fort Lauderdale News

“If Diana Nyad Goes The Distance, She’ll Be Swimming In The Money”

1978 12 Sep Minneapolis Star

Want to contact Diana Nyad? The Star suggests either writing her attorney or the Kalmus Corporation, the agency that helped with Nyad’s largely fictitious 1978 press release.

1978 15 Oct Chicago Tribune

Television schedule showing Nyad on “John Callaway Interviews” See video here.

Among other things Nyad says in this classic: 17:45—“I swam in the North Sea a few years back, a race down the Dutch coast that took me 40 hours and 3 minutes.” No one has been able to identify this swim. 11:36—“I don’t want to sound too braggartly, but I think that, on August 13th of this year, standing on the Cuba coast about to set off, that I was in the best physical shape of anybody on the face of the earth for that day.”

1979 4-5 Sep Pensacola News

“Diana Nyad: If it Hurts to Achieve, She’ll Accept the Pain” / “Ultimate Challenge: Cuba-to-Florida Swim”

Two stories on “Diana Nyad, a woman swimmer with perseverance.”




Diana’s Last Stands

Date   Source Title/Description
1978 22 Mar Fort Lauderdale News

“Diana Nyad To Try Cuba To Key West Record Swim”

“‘And that,’ said Diana Nyad, ‘will be it. I’ll never do another long distance swim. It’s the most boring sport in the world.’”

1979 24 Oct Windsor Star

“Final Trek for Diana”

1979 24 Oct Fort Lauderdale News

“Nyad preparing for last swim”

1979 28 Oct Lebanon Daily News (PA)

“Diana’s Swan Song”

1979 2 Nov Hartford Courant (CT)

“All the Legs Are Alike”

1980 14 Mar South Bend Tribune (IN)

“One Swim Left for Diana Nyad”





Date   Source Title/Description
1930 13 July Muncie Sunday Star (IN)

Sports photo spread which includes Lillian Garrick (fourth woman around Manhattan) and Leah Riley

1971 25 Mar Atlantic City Press (NJ)

Joe Grossman wins Davids-Wheeler Trophy

1972 Mar Swimming Times

“ECHEVERRIA—can he acclimatise?”

1972 20 Apr Atlantic City Press

“Hall of Fame Picks Toomey”

1978 17 Aug Post-Star
(Glen Falls, NY)

“Kinsella Tops Mark”

John Kinsella breaks Lake Ontario record.

1981 24 July La Presse (Montreal, QC)

LE CIRCUIT DE MARATHONS DE NAGE LONGUE DISTANCE: Beauté, amitiés…et ouverture sur le monde

(THE LONG DISTANCE SWIMMING MARATHON CIRCUIT: Beauty, friendships…and openness to the world)







Year Title/Description

WPMSF, IMSA, and FINA World Champions, 1963-2007 (via Open Water Boek 2008)


“Iglesias, Denijs Named World’s Swim Champion,” The Register: Danville, VA, 18 Oct 1967.


WPMSF press release


WPMSF standings


WPMSF standings


“Horacio Iglesias, le meilleur mageur au monde,” Le Nouvelliste, 6 Dec 1971.


WPMSF press release




Federation de Marathons de Nage Professionnelle du Quebec (totals for Canadian races)


“D’un marathon à l’autre…” Le Soleil, 21 Aug 1974 (totals for Canadian races)


WPMSF press release







1963 - 1973

History of the WPMSF through 1973

1970 (20 Apr)

Joe Grossman to Abilio Couto on upcoming races & Catalina record attempt.

1970 - 1972

Diana Nyad’s pro race results 1970 - 1972

1970 - 1975

Diana Nyad’s WPMSF results

1978 (21 Aug)

Richard Mullins’ Observer report from Diana Nyad’s 1978 Cuba-Florida attempt

1980 - 1983

Swims & Records, 1980-1983


International Marathon Swimming Association newsletter #12





(This table is an edited version of the Diana Nyad Fact Check Annex page, “Docs Project: We Get Letters!” first posted on 25 September 2019.)

Three letters between Buck Dawson, the executive director of the International Swimming Hall of Fame at the time, and Joe Grossman. Dawson writes that he has discovered a new swimmer who will “re-inject some glamour” into the pro racing circuit.

1970 11 May

Buck Dawson to Joe Grossman

14 May

Grossman to Dawson

original transcription
20 Jul

Dawson to Grossman (This is a press release in letter form extolling the virtues of the WPMSF’s new “Golden Greek.”)


The following letters address, among many other things, the controversy surrounding Nyad’s 1974 WPMSF World Championship. Dennis Matuch’s explanation, “When is a world champion not a world champion?” provides a diplomatic coda. Don Watson, who coached both Sandra Bucha and John Kinsella, provides another view in “Bucha Deserves Just Reward.”

1974 Sep

Diana Nyad to Dennis Matuch

original transcription
9 Nov

Nyad to Matuch

original transcription

Nyad to Matuch to Conrad Wennerberg

original transcription
4 Dec

Nyad to Sandra Bucha’s parents

14 Dec

Nyad to Matuch

original transcription





Swimming World Marathon & Distance columns


1970 Sep Joe Grossman

La Tuque, Hamilton, Lac St-Jean


Grossman receives Davids-Wheeler Trophy

Oct Grossman

Saguenay, Kevin Murphy North Channel



1971 Feb Grossman

Florence Chadwick


Nyad gets Anderson Award


Announcement of a Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.

Includes statement that “the male and female World Champion Marathon Swimmers…are eligible for inclusion….”


Guaymas & Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame


Chicago & UAR races


various races & Chicago postpones


various races & Nyad and English Channel


Kinsella & Bucha win AAU Long Distance champs

1972 Feb Grossman

Final 1971 standings—Shadia El Ragab succeeds Judith de Nijs


History & Samia Mandour wins Greta Andersen Trophy


Typed draft of March column


Typed draft of April column—MSHOF announces 1971 honorees


Typed draft of May column—Water pollution


Typed draft of June column


Races & Greta Andersen


What kind of people become marathon swimmers?


History of prize money in marathon swimming


Chicago race cancelled & Lynne Cox sets EC record


Season wrap-up & Nyad & de Nijs DNFs at Lac St-Jean


Reverse Molokai & Cherbourg EC attempt


End of year WPMSF wrap-up—Shadia El Rageb takes women’s title

1973 Jan Grossman

George Young obituary


Bio of Willy van Rysel, winner of Davids-Wheeler Award


typed draft of June column: announcement of MSHOF electees


“Marathon swimming, anyone?” Grossman’s draft here.


“Joseph Grossman suffers fatal heart attack”

Jul Dennis Matuch

Upcoming races


Upcoming Chicago race


Results of first three pro races of season & Nyad drops out of La Tuque


Results of Lac St-Jean and Chicago, Sandra Bucha’s first pro swim


Final standings—Corrie Dixon wins women’s title


Preview of next season

1974 Feb Matuch

Review of Conrad Wennerberg’s Wind, Waves and Sunburn


Difference in 10-mile times between different races.


Mar del Plata & Santa Fe Coronda swims


La Tuque strategy & Nile race


More on the Mar del Plata swim


“Bucha is regarded as the top female marathoner now in the United States, possibly the world.” (via “Off the Blocks” section)


More on Bucha (via “Off the Blocks” section)

Nov Conrad Wennerberg

Results of 1974 pro races (less Capri-Naples)


1974 World Ratings

1975 Jan Matuch

Partial column: “When is a world champion not a world champion?” (partial column)


Complete column: Marathon race funding & “When is a world champion….?”


Mar del Plata overview

Feb Don Watson (letter)

Watson, Sandra Bucha’s coach, explains why Bucha deserved championship

May Wennerberg

Mar del Plata & Buenos Aires walkout

Jul Matuch

On solo swim stunts: “[W]hen a newspaper article describes some fantastic or projected 20 to 136 mile ocean swimin which the marathoner would average three m.p.h, or better, I holler ‘FRAUD.’”


Upcoming events: Lac St-Jean and Chicago


1975 rankings & Paul Bucha (Sandra Bucha’s dad) on the ranking system


Kevin Murphy triple attempt & Des Renford

1976 Jul Matuch

Effect of Montreal Olympics on Canadian races


Jon Erikson Nutrament ad & Chibougamau race details


Jon Erikson Nutrament ad & Lac St-Jean

1977 Jan

1976 World rankings: Kinsella and Nicholas tops

Mar Wennerberg

Jon Erikson in ad for Nutrament & Comparison of pro swimmers, 1964-1977


Kinsella & Bucha in ad for races

Jul Wennerberg

Listing of upcoming races

Nov Matuch

Rundown of Chibougamau 3-part race, which Kinsella won

1978 Jan Matuch

Lac St-Jean & Cynthia Nicholas’ double EC & 1977 men’s world rankings


1977 women’s world rankings

Mar Stephen Malley

“Orca Surfaces From the Depths”

Jun Matuch



MSHOF revitalization & Rio Corondo

Nov Wennerberg

John Kinsella’s year: He won every race he entered in 1978

1979 Jan Matuch

World rankings: Kinsella wins 4th championship; Passfield best woman.


On the mind of the marathoner, including Penny Dean’s mental prep for her EC world record.

Mar Wennerberg

Comparison of pro swimmers, 1964-1977

Jun Wennerberg

MSHOF inductees & Rio Coronda


Jon Erikson attempts triple EC, settles for a double (and two records)

1980 Feb Matuch

1979 races and final standings

1981 Feb James A. Barry

1980 races and final standings




WPMSF Bulletins

(This table is a new and improved version of the Diana Nyad Fact Check Annex page,
“Docs Project: WPMSF bulletins,” first posted on 31 August 2019.)

1964 #1—Spring #2—Autumn
1965 #3—Spring #4—Summer #5—Autumn
1966 #6—page 2 #7—Summer #8—Winter
1968 #9—Spring #10—Autumn #11—Winter
1969 #12—Spring #13—Autumn
1970 #14—Winter #15—Spring
1971 #16—Winter #17—Spring #18—Dec
1972 #19—Spring #20—Autumn
1973 #21—Dec
1974 #22—Feb #23—May #24—Nov  
1975 #25—Feb #26—May #27—missing #28—Oct
1976 #29—Feb #30—Apr #31—Jun #32—Nov
1977 #33—May #34—Nov
1978 #35—Feb #36—Jun #37—Oct #38—Dec
1979 #39—May #40—Dec
1981 #??—Oct
1985 #85-3—Dec





Press releases


1970 WPMSF

1970 rankings

1971 MSHOF

Announcement of inductees.

Draft notated by Joe Grossman.

1972 MSHOF

Johnny Weissmuller, International Commissioner of professional marathon swimming, announces upcoming races.

1972 WPMSF

1972 rankings

1976 WPMSF

1976 rankings

1978 Kalmus Corp.

[page 1] [page 2]

Rife with hyperbole and fiction, this is the document that Nyad distributed before her first Cuba-Florida expotition. See “Anatomy of a 1978 Nyad Press Release” at the Nyad Fact Check Annex.


Matuch elected WPMSF president