Diana Nyad wants to dispel any doubts her fellow endurance athletes may have about the authenticity of her 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida.
Nyad’s swim, the fulfillment of a lifelong goal for the 64 year-old marathon swimmer, was tracked online via GPS technology by her team. That data is fueling speculation on the part of some in the distance swimming community. While supporters argue that the speed the swimmer picked up in the middle of the Florida Straits was due to favorable currents, skeptics say this simply isn’t possible, at least not to the extent indicated by the GPS data.
In a formal statement on behalf of Nyad, her spokeswoman Alexandra Crotin said that “Diana is proud of what she and her team accomplished last week, and she is committed to complete transparency.”
The closed-door meeting will take place on Tuesday, September 10, but Crotin declined to answer questions about exactly when and where it will happen. Neither did she offer any information as far as who would be in attendance.
Much of the discussion of the validity of Nyad’s record-breaking swim has happened in a community forum on the Marathon Swimmers website. Some members have performed intensive analysis of the GPS data, made associated speed and pace projections, and created maps that illustrate their conclusions.
Diana Nyad's secret weapon for her historic swim. http://t.co/kDRn1tyZ5z
— CNN (@CNN) September 3, 2013
What does Twitter have to say about the controversy? The overall response has been positive and supportive of Nyad, with many holding her up as an example of what women can accomplish in their 60s and beyond.
— Health magazine (@goodhealth) September 3, 2013
At 64, Diana Nyad swam 53 hours. It makes it clear that we are never too old to achieve. Elevator out for 2 mos, gonna go extra mile.
— rachael ray (@rachael_ray) September 3, 2013
— Helene Bludman (@hbludman) September 3, 2013