Diana Nyad Says “I Don’t Have Those Dancers’ Bodies”
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Diana Nyad is known throughout the world for her athletic prowess as a long-distance swimmer. Sixty-four-year-old Nyad made history last year when she became the first person to complete a swim from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark cage for protection.
Fans of the athlete have been able to witness the unique dancing talents of the gifted individual on Season 18 of Dancing with the Stars.
Nyad recently spoke candidly with TVGuide.com about her breakout dance performance where she even discussed her disappointment regarding outfit selections. Nyad shared the following:
I don’t want to be vain. Look at me, I come out of the ocean after 53 hours of swimming. Do you think I care what I look like? … But on this show, it’s different. There is glamour to it. … When we were fitting it, I said, “My God, I look so fat and matronly in this thing. This is not me at all.” As I said, I don’t have those dancers’ bodies, for sure, but I’ve got a pretty damn good body and I was mortified in that dress. I’ve never felt like the girl over on the side who doesn’t belong, and I actually did feel like that a little bit that night. Not on the dance floor with Henry. I decided to go for it. But other times. I’ve never felt like that ever. So I’ve gotten together with the wardrobe department and said, “If I get a chance to go another couple of dances or more, don’t ever let that happen to me again.”
Though dancing may seem like no challenge for a woman who is capable of swimming through shark-infested waters without protection, Nyad shared her perspective on the distinct pressure to perform as a dancer. “When I would stand on that shore over in Cuba and look out at the horizon, I knew that what was in front of me was going to be at least two, probably more like two-and-a-half nonstop days in the open ocean, with all kinds of obstacles, and [Monday], as I stood holding [partner Henry Byalikov’s] hands, I was thinking, ‘You have one minute and six seconds for this foxtrot.’ It’s just an absurdly different kind of challenge,” Nyad said.
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