Monday, September 9, 2013

Getting Along... Swimmingly

    Sixty-four-year-old Diana Nyad made the news last week after she swam 110 miles from Cuba to the Florida Keys. I'm not sure I understand her reason for even attempting this, especially after failing to make it four other times, but I suppose it falls into the same category as George Mallory's reason for attempting to climb Mount Everest: "Because it's there."

  Today's newspaper reports that other long-distance swimmers are questioning the veracity of the story. One swimmer in Seattle is questioning how she could have sped up to 3 miles per hour from her average speed of a mile and a half an hour; her navigator and an "official observer" of the swim assert that she benefited from a swift and favorable current.

  There is also some concern that she did not follow the "English Channel rules" because she used a special mask and neoprene suit to protect herself from jellyfish. So what? This is not an Olympic event where all the competitors have to be on even ground.

  I haven't read of any other swimmers who are planning to attempt this, nor that there is some kind of prize associated with doing it. And I don't think it is going to inspire disgruntled Cubans that this is a good way to flee their country.

  Maybe Nyad gets a swimsuit endorsement contract or becomes a spokesperson for some energy drink. More likely, she has her fifteen minutes of fame and then becomes one more person no one can identify. In the meantime, these naysayers ought to find something else to keep them occupied... like going for a swim.

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