AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 81: Diana Nyad Says Never Again

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 81: Diana Nyad Says Never Again

September 27, 2011


Diana Nyad met her match.

The former Pine Crest swimmer said it was the toxic jellyfish that took her down and has convinced her that she will not make another attempt at the 103-mile ocean swim from Cuba to Florida through the Florida straits.

Nyad, 62, swam 82 nautical miles in her second attempt in two months and third attempt overall during her distinguished endurance swimming career. Her first attempt was in 1978 which was cut short by bad weather after 42 hours in the water.

“I can’t beat those guys, they are too much for me,” an emotional Nyad said Monday during a press conference in Key West. “I am so capable of that swim. It’s such a bitter pill.”

After two potentially lethal stings, Nyad was forced to give up her quest on Sunday morning after forty hours in the water. The toxins had begun to cause partial paralysis and breathing difficulties for the asthmatic.

“Those damn jellyfish,” Nyad said. “It’s going to hurt my pride so bad when someone swims across that thing and it wasn’t me. I’m mad that it turned out this way.

“It’s not easy to let go of this dream,” Nyad said. “It’s been a grand, elevating life-confirming experience these last two years.”

More open water swimming

FINISswim is sponsoring a free webinar by Open Water Source on Nyad on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 2 p.m. The presentation includes stories, strategies and struggles during Nyad’s two recent attempts. Details include her preparations for Cuba, weather as well as physical and mental preparation…

Open water swimming in Las Vegas? The second annual Slam the Damn Open Water Swim Zone Championship is Saturday at Lake Mead’s Boulder Beach, hosted by Swim Las Vegas, southern Nevada’s largest U.S. masters team. Distances offered are 1.2-mile, 2.4-mle or 8K. The field features swimmers from as far away as Australia and Russia as well as nationally-ranked U.S. athletes. “A nice long swim just means you’ll be able to chow down more at your hotel’s buffet,” swimmer Melissa Palmer told the Las Vegas Review Journal…

Thomas Lurz of Germany and American Emily Brunemann won the men’s and women’s races at the Marathon Swimming World Cup in China. Lurz remains in the series points lead after winning the sixth leg of the FINA Marathon Swimming World Cup in 1 hour, 54 minutes and 22 seconds. Brunemann earned her first podium appearance winning in 2:04:52. The field featured 28 men and 15 women from ten countries. The last race is Oct. 2 in Hong Kong…

Trinidad and Tobago national swimmers Samantha Rahael and Jonathan Gillette won the 5,000-meter swim at the Maracas Open Water Swim Classic at Maracas Bay on Sunday. Rahael, based in the U.S., won her 5K race debut in 1 hour, 12 minutes and 32 seconds and finished ahead of defending champion Theana Hay. Gillette won the men’s title in 1:11:13. Defending champion Stefan Sharpe was unable to defend his title because of classes at LaSalle University. Blaine Sobrian was second in 1:12:30. Nicholas Mitchell won the men’s 2,650-meter race in 38:13 and Syriah David won the women’s event in 40:50. Olympic medalist George Bovell III, still recovering from a car accident, was among spectators. The race attracted more than 300 open water swimmers…

USA Swimming Coaches Clinic This Weekend

Florida Gold Coast Swimming will host the USA Swimming Regional Coaches Clinic Friday through Sunday in downtown Miami. The Regional Coaching Clinic program brings affordable clinics directly to teams in their own LSC’s. The clinics are designed for the entire coaching staff from the novice coach to the senior level coach in their own “coaching backyards.” Clinics are priced to encourage staffs to attend the clinic together. One coach can attend for $60 or entire staff can attend the clinic for only $120. Miami is the third stop of the six-clinic fall tour. The clinic will be held at the Marriott Courtyard Downtown at 200 SE Second Avenue. Clinics are open to all swimming coaches regardless of their USA Swimming membership. Both USA swimming members and non-members are invited to attend. MJ Truex, a sport performance consultant and Dave Thomas, a sport development consultant, will conduct the sessions. Local contact is MACM coach Kirk Peppas at The sessions are Friday, 5-7:45 p.m., Saturday 8-5:30 p.m. and Sunday, 8-12:30 p.m. A free club leadership and business management school will also be conducted from 1-7 p.m. on Sunday.


The Florida State Seminoles have gotten four verbal commitments for their next freshman class including Top 25 recruit Derek Pridemore of the Sarasota YMCA. Pridemore, a distance freestyler, is ranked No. 3 in Florida and No. 24 nationally. His career-bests are 4:27.44 in the 500 freestyle and 15:23.24 in the mile. He will join Colombian national record holder Mateo DeAngulo and SOFLO’s Tyler Sell…

Two-time Olympian Anne Poleska, 31, a former Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer was married to Jochen Urban, 27, on Saturday in her hometown of Krefeld, Germany. They are honeymooning in Boston and New England area…

Former Fort Lauderdale Swim Team member Sheila Taormina, an Olympic gold medalist in swimming at the 1996 Games, 2000 Olympian in triathlon and 2004 Olympian in pentathlon, is on a book tour promoting her first book, “Call the Suit.” She is also in the midst of a Call the Suit Swim Clinic Series in Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Africa in October…

Canadian water polo player Nathan Kotylak, 18, has been banned from the national team for two years for his role in the post-Stanley Cup riot in Vancouver. He will receive no funding and cannot represent Canada again until June 2013. He apologized after several social media sites showed him stuffing a rag in the gas tank of a police car during the riot.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Author: South Florida Aquatic Club - SOFLO Swimming

Welcome to the South Florida Aquatic club, a premier community swim team dedicated to providing opportunity and encouragement to all team members, from the beginner to the seasoned Olympic athlete in their pursuit of excellence. The year-round development program for competitive swimming features life-enhancing qualities including integrity, discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship and health and fitness. We invite you to navigate the club’s portal for information about the team.

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