Diana Nyad

Marathon swimmer Diana Nyad returned to the TEDMED stage in 2014 to share lessons from her world record-setting solo 110-mile swim from Cuba to Miami at age 64.

“I have three messages: One is we should never, ever give up. Two is you never are too old to chase your dreams. Three is it looks like a solitary sport, but it takes a team.” — Diana Nyad


Author, journalist, former TEDMED speaker, and long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad has broken numerous world records. Her swim around Manhattan (under eight hours) and the 102 miles she swam in open waters from the Bahamas to Florida were her biggest swimming achievements by age 30. In 2013, Diana attempted, for the fifth time, the 110-mile ocean crossing between Cuba and Florida. With a strong team and a new commitment to her vision, she became the first person to swim the distance without a shark cage. Once a nationally ranked squash player, Diana continues to challenge herself in myriad ways. Since her historic swim, she has appeared on the TV show, Dancing With the Stars!, written a new memoir, and workshopped her own one-woman theatrical show in Hollywood.

If you could choose to stay any age forever, what age would you choose?

This moment, 64, is my prime. Emotionally mature. Psychologically calm. Perspective to feel
profound gratitude and awe. Even my physical/athletic side is strongest.

What sparks your imagination?

Books. I’m writing a memoir, and reading others’ memoirs takes me through history and personal illumination.

What do you do to lift your spirits?

Hang out with my dog and three best friends: a beach walk with Teddy, a Scrabble game
with Bonnie, a shopping spree with Nina, an hour of philosophy with Candace in the hot tub.


Sink or Swim, Do or Die: Q&A with Diana Nyad on the TEDMED Blog

The Other Shore: The Diana Nyad Story
Timothy Wheeler, Director, 2013

Diana Nyad’s Basic Training for Women 
Rh Value Publishing, 1981

Other Shores 
Nyad, D. Random House, 1978