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Diana Nyad on coming out, authenticity, & her epic swim

Larry King NowNov 18 '16

Legendary athlete Diana Nyad shares her inspiring story of swimming from Cuba to Florida without a shark tank in her sixties and the existential crisis that spurred it. Plus, the beloved long-distance swimmer on coming out & the bravery of being yourself.

She was the first person to ever swim from Cuba to Florida with no shark cage-- and she did it at 64 years old. Diana Nyad is an author, sports broadcaster, and motivational speaker. But nothing can top her amazing feat in 2013, when she swam for 53 hours straight through shark and jellyfish infested ocean waters, starting near Havana, Cuba and finally arriving on the beaches of Key West to an adoring crowd. In this interview with Larry King, Nyad explains how she trained for the dangerous swim, what it is like to stay awake in the water for more than two days, and how she found the motivation to undertake such a daunting task.

It took five tries, years of perseverance, and a team of 40 people to complete Nyad's Cuba-to-Florida dream. She was a well-known distance swimmer earlier in life, then became a TV sports analyst, and began training for her record setting swim when she turned 60 and made up her mind to "get every last fiber out of her potential."But Nyad isn't resting on her laurels. Her new campaign EverWalk aims to encourage Americans to walk more often by hosting long distance walks, starting with a walk from Los Angeles and San Diego earlier this month. She hopes that the campaign can start a revolution of walking across the country, and intends to lead a weeks long cross-country walk with Everwalk in 2020.
Plus, the conversation moves beyond swimming as Nyad and King discuss issues of equal pay for women in sports and how the LGBT rights movement has made such progress in recent years. Nyad opens up about her own experience as a sexual abuse victim and offers her take on President-elect Trump's assault accusers. Hearing about Nyad's life and all the dangers she has faced, Larry King wonders if she is in fact "a little nuts." And, Nyad says, she may be, but at least she is living life to the fullest.