News

Record-setter dives into 48-hour swim for charity

Record-setter dives into 48-hour swim for charity

RECORD SETTING SWIM: U.S. long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad takes a breath during her 48 hour continuous swim at Herald Square in New York Oct. 8, 2013. Photo: Reuters/REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

By Luke Swiderski

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A month after a record-setting swim from Cuba to Florida, Diana Nyad has moved on from the real sharks of the Florida Straits to the metaphorical ones of New York City.

Nyad, who last month covered the 110 miles of open ocean in 53 hours on Tuesday set off on a 48-hour swim to nowhere in a pool in New York’s Herald Square, in a charity event to raise money to help the 25,000 people who are still displaced from their homes a year after Superstorm Sandy hammered the New York and New Jersey coastlines.

The challenges are different in the 120-foot-long (37-meter) two-lane pool set up by sponsor Procter & Gamble for her attempt near a busy Manhattan intersection.

“In Cuba there was this huge emotional pressure,” Nyad told Reuters. “That was about setting a record. That was about ego. This is about other people.”

Nyad’s swim will attempt to raise money for disaster-relief organization AmeriCares by encouraging people to make online donations.

On Tuesday, members of the U.S. Coast Guard, and New York’s fire and police departments took turns swimming along with Nyad, as her pink cap glided up and down the pool.

“It was unbelievable!” said firefighter Tom Dolan, 45, after emerging from his spell swimming with Nyad. Dolan, who hails from the Breezy Point, New York, one of the shore towns hit hardest by the storm, said he is doubly appreciative of her effort “to help us keep our energy and focus and realize we are not done yet.”

A roster of celebrities, including Olympic Gold medalist Ryan Lochte, was scheduled to join Nyad in the pool, while others looked on. Joe Manganiello, of the HBO show “True Blood” said he came to celebrate Nyad’s achievement in the Florida Straits.

“What’s unbelievable is that her first attempt was in her 20s,” Manganiello said, referring to Nyad’s four failed attempts to conquer the distance before finally succeeding at age 64. “What she shows is that if you don’t fail, you don’t come back harder.”

Recent Headlines

now in Weird

Do you want fries with your truck fire?

Fresh
fries

A tractor-trailer carrying 40,000 pounds of french fries catches fire. You're going to need a lot of ketchup.

36 minutes ago in Entertainment

Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson close to signing on for ‘Jungle Book’

Fresh
lupita

Idris Elba will voice the villainous tiger Shere Khan in the latest adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's adventure tale.

43 minutes ago in Entertainment

John Leguizamo chops off fingertip during filming of ‘Chef’

Fresh
leguizamo

The actor came away from filming with a new-found respect for kitchen staff, a few tips and a great party tale.

1 hour ago in Sports

Yankees Pineda ejected for substance on neck

Fresh
pine

Pitchers are not allowed to use foreign substances to give them a better grip on the ball.

1 hour ago in Sports

Seahawks, Packers kick off NFL season

Fresh
nfl

The Seattle Seahawks open the defense of their Super Bowl crown and kick off the 2014-15 season at home against Green Bay.