Cook Strait Swim, New Zealand

Friday, September 13, 2013

A solution to Diana Nyad's controversy?

After five grueling attempts to swim from Cuba to Florida, sixty-four year old Diana Nyad succeeded.  She was cheered worldwide for her great strength, perseverance and determination for her 110 mile marathon swim. I applaud her and salute her.   Within hours of her swim, global media coverage reported controversy regarding rules followed during her epic swim.  As a marathon swimmer, I wanted to evaluate for myself her claim to a world record for the first unassisted swim and claims by her critics.   I read several hundred online comments for and against Diana's historic swim.    My conclusion:  Diana Nyad successfully swam from Cuba to Florida. She did not advance by holding onto a boat or being in a boat.  She was assisted into a jellyfish suit by being touched by her crew.  There is no Cuba to Florida Swim Association to dictate rules therefore Diana did not cheat.  She cannot be judged by other governing bodies such at the English Channel Swim Association/Federation or the Catalina Swimming Association because the Strait of Florida is not in their jurisdiction. The words assisted or unassisted swim should not be used in a swim of this magnitude.  The purist of marathon swimmers do not include jellyfish protective gear, being touched by a crew member as an unassisted swim.  So to satisfy all parties, I believe that Susie Maroney of Australia world record should be listed as the first person to swim Cuba to Florida with an asterisk by her name stating **use of a shark cage.  Diana Nyad should receive the world record for the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage and have an asterisk by her name **use of jellyfish protective gear, touched by crew.  And, for future marathon swimmers especially the "purist" group, the title should be world record for the first person to swim Cuba to Florida ***without a shark cage, jellyfish suit.   All parties will be satisfied with getting their rightful respect in their own swim accomplishment.  Now, let's move forward....Congratulations, to Susie Maroney and Diana Nyad for their world record accomplishment. And, I hope Penny Palfrey and Chloe McCardle from Australia  attempt the Florida Strait again. They have the talent and speed to reach Florida without a shark cage, jellyfish suit, or being touched by their crew. And, when one of them reaches the Florida coast she will have the world record for the first person to swim Cuba to Florida and have an asterisk by her name ***without a shark cage, jellyfish suit,or being touched by a crew member.  I'm looking forward to watching the next adventure swimmer attempt the grueling Florida Strait.

4 comments:

Linda Dyer said...

Hi Pat...Haters gonna Hate is so true in this instance. I am not sure how anyone would get across without having a jelly suit on. Should we not give marathon Runners water during their race?
I was so happy to see that Diana had finally made it. Good for her and all your accomplishments as well. Love reading about how a cousin by the way of marriage is doing in the sporting world. (Your Aunt Marriette is Married to my Uncle Roger on the Caron Side.) Keep up the great work...You are an inspiration to a lot of people.
Linda Caron Dyer

Ron Collins said...

Maybe it'll be named as the 3rd "Assisted" swim, coming after Susie Maroney and some guy that wore fins.

pat said...

Ron, I believe a swim of this magnitude should not have the words "assisted or unassisted" attached to the success of the swimmer. The guy who wore fins was propelled through the water with the use of his fins. His swim should not be recognized. Diana was not propelled through the 110 mile swim with the use of a jellyfish suit or being touched by someone helping to her apply it.

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