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Nyad, Diana (b. 1949)  
page: 1  2  3  

However, on September 2, 2013, Nyad made history by becoming the first person to swim the Florida straits from Cuba to the Florida Keys without the security of a shark cage. She arrived at the shoreline of Key West after 53 hours in the water. The 64-year-old was greeted by cheering crowds of fans, some of them waving rainbow flags, as she triumphed on her fifth attempt to achieve a "life-long dream."

As Alistair Jamieson and Tracy Connor reported on NBC News, "Her tongue and lips were swollen by sun and seawater, and she had abrasions in her mouth from a special silicone mask meant to keep the jellyfish at bay."

At two miles from shore, Nyad seemed to realize that she was on the verge of success. "I am about to swim my last two miles in the ocean," she told her handlers. "This is a lifelong dream of mine and I'm very very glad to be with you," she added, praising her team. "So let's get going so we can have a whopping party."

Only one swimmer, Australian Susie Maroney, had previously crossed the Florida straits. But during Maroney's 1977 swim, she used a protective cage.

In addition to her work in sports and broadcasting, Nyad has authored three books, Other Shores (1978), a chronicle of her life as a swimmer, Basic Training for Women (1983), and The Boss of Me: The Keyshawn Johnson Story (1999) about a professional football player.

Because of her interest in promoting women's health and fitness, Nyad has recently joined with Bonnie Stoll, a former professional racquetball player—once ranked third on the world tour—in founding the business, an on-line resource dedicated to providing advice to an audience of women over the age of forty.

Linda Rapp

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arts >> Overview:  American Television, News

Although glbtq people and issues have been inadequately covered by American television news, there have recently been signs of improvement.

arts >> Overview:  American Television, Talk Shows

For glbt people, television talk shows have been both promising and problematic; they have brought glbt issues to public awareness, but until recently they have also presented glbt people as stereotypes and freaks.

arts >> Overview:  Documentary Film

The queer community has used documentary film to resurrect historical memory and to permit the marginalized to bear witness, as well as to build an image base that reflects our diversity and counters distorted representations.

arts >> Overview:  Radio

A product of the gay liberation movement spawned by the Stonewall rebellion, queer radio programming remains a significant source of entertainment and information for glbtq communities.

arts >> Overview:  Sports: Lesbian

Although lesbians and athletics have long been identified with each other, lesbian athletes, despite great achievements, still face numerous obstacles.

arts >> Amaechi, John

Closeted throughout his professional basketball career, John Amaechi is the first player from the National Basketball Association to acknowledge that he is gay; since coming out, he has become an eloquent spokesman for glbtq rights.

arts >> Bean, Billy

Former baseball player and current television personality, Billy Bean was closeted throughout his major league career but has since become a proud advocate for glbtq rights.

arts >> In the Life

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arts >> Kopay, David

The first American professional athlete to acknowledge his homosexuality publicly, former National Football League player David Kopay stands near the head of the short list of openly gay and lesbian elite athletes.

arts >> Kowalski, Daniel

Australian Olympic medalist Daniel Kowalski remained closeted during his competitive swimming career but found the courage to come out publicly in 2010.

arts >> Louganis, Greg

Widely regarded as the greatest diver in history, Olympic champion Greg Louganis has acknowledged both his homosexuality and his status as a person living with AIDS.

arts >> Mitcham, Matthew

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arts >> Navratilova, Martina

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arts >> Tewksbury, Mark

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"Al Schoenfield Media Award: 2002 Diana Nyad." International Swimming Hall of Fame (2002):


Corry, John. "A Swimmer Fails to Circle Manhattan." New York Times (September 25, 1975): 1, 53.

Dwyre, Bill. "Nyad No Longer Feels Like a Fish out of Water." Los Angeles Times (August 18, 2011): C1.

Jamieson, Alistair, and Tracy Connor. "Diana Nyad Makes History Swimming from Cuba to Florida." World News on (September 2, 2013):

Kennedy, Kelli. "Nyad Ends Her Trek after 40-plus Hours." Washington Post (September 26, 2011): D3.

Lipsyte, Robert. "Reflections on a Secret Life in Professional Sports." New York Times (September 12, 1999): 8.3.

"Miss Nyad at Last Swims from Bahamas to Florida." New York Times (August 21, 1979): 14.

Nyad, Diana. "The Ups and Downs of Living with a Con Artist." Newsweek 146.5 (August 1, 2005): 17.

Prial, Frank J. "Woman Swimmer Circles Manhattan on Her 2d Attempt." New York Times (October 6, 1975): 1, 39.

Ruiz, Hector. "Diana Nyad." 100 Trailblazers: Great Women Athletes Who Opened Doors for Future Generations. Richard Lapchick, ed. Morgantown, W. V.: Fitness Information Technology, 2009. 256-260.

Training Rules. Dee Mossbacher and Fawn Yacker, dirs. (2010):


    Citation Information
    Author: Rapp, Linda  
    Entry Title: Nyad, Diana  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2011  
    Date Last Updated October 12, 2013  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2011 glbtq, Inc.  


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