Diana Nyad Raises More Than $100K in 2-Day Swim for Hurricane Sandy Relief

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 10, 2013

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - APRIL 15:  Swimmer Diana Nyad speaks onstage during the Women's Sports Foundation's 'Billie Awards' held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 15, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Diana Nyad, who made worldwide headlines after becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a protective cage, has completed her 48-hour marathon swim in New York City to benefit Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. 

She said afterward swimming in a pool for that long was tougher than the open ocean, courtesy of John Clark of ABC11.

The official site for the swim, which live streamed Nyad's latest endurance feat, reports more than $100,000 was raised. CNN's Hilary Rosen commented on the spectacle:

PoolSupplies.com's Leisure Living Twitter account documented the total swim time and money raised, though people can continue to donate through Oct. 31:

Before the swim, Nyad talked about doing the swim because she wanted to make sure those impacted by Sandy were remembered, according to NBC New York.

Nyad, 64, said on the "Today" show Monday she's doing the swim so that the victims of the devastating storm aren't forgotten.

"I don't want to forget them," she said. "I don't want to forget any people who have been through disaster."

Nyad's Twitter account passed along pictures throughout the swim, which took place in the shadow of the Empire State Building.

She received several high-profile visits over the course of the two days. The list included a couple of Olympic champions, including Ryan Lochte.

NBC Olympic Talk passed along comments from the 11-time medalist, who talked about her previous swim to Florida and was in awe over her ability.

"I love swimming, but 48 hours of swimming, I don’t know if I could do that," Lochte said before an emcee mentioned event sponsor Tide. “I do one load of laundry, and I’m tired.

"What she did, that swim (Cuba to Florida in September), is amazing. I was glued to my TV, watching and saying, ‘Come on, keep going.'"

He also sent her a tweet after completing his visit:

Nastia Liukin, the 2008 all-around gymnastics champion, also stopped by:

Even a dog named Roscoe joined in on the fun:

The 48 hours she spent swimming in New York was still about five hours less than her journey from Cuba to the United States, putting that accomplishment in further perspective. After the remarkable effort, she talked about finding a way to accomplish her dream.

Now that she's done it, Nyad is in a position to help others. Her contributions to Hurricane Sandy relief is the perfect example of that.

Some of those who were affected by the storm were even invited to join her during the swim. Tracey Porpora of the Staten Island Advance provided comments that show people are still trying to recover one year later.

"My sister-in-law Karen Zboinski was contacted by AmeriCares and they wanted to invite the kids to swim because they are swimmers and so many members of our family were affected by Sandy," said Ms. Pepel, whose home is in the Graham Beach section of Ocean Breeze.

"This event is bringing attention to the fact that it's a year later and we're still waiting for answers. We are still waiting for the help that has never come," she said.

Others who came to witness Nyad's latest swim in person passed along a myriad of pictures and video from the pool.

The quest continued even in the dark of night.

As the clock ticked toward 48 hours the weather became a factor. The temperature dropped and rain was falling at times, but Nyad pushed on. Given what she dealt with in the ocean, a little adversity wasn't going to slow her down.

Finally, just before 9 a.m., Nyad completed the swim in front of an large New York crowd.


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