2017 Forum Speakers

Diana Nyad

Long-Distance Swimmer
Photo of Diana Nyad

On September 2, 2013, at the age of 64, Diana Nyad successfully fulfilled her lifelong dream of completing the 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida. Nyad has never been one to quit. In July 2010, at the age of 60, she began her Xtreme Dream quest of swimming from Cuba to Florida, a task she had failed to finish 30 years previously. When asked her motivation, she answered, "Because I’d like to prove to the other 60-year-olds that it is never too late to start your dreams." Nyad was unsuccessful in her quest in 2010 and tried two more times, in 2011 and 2012, before completing the historic swim. In the 1970s, Nyad was the greatest long-distance swimmer in the world. Her world records for circling Manhattan Island and crossing the 102.5 miles between the Bahamas and Florida led to numerous honors, including induction into the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame. Her career includes sports journalism and broadcasting for NPR, ABC’s Wide World of Sports, Fox Sports and The New York Times. The author of three books, Nyad wrote her memoir, Find a Way, in 2015. She recently debuted the one-woman show “Onward! The Diana Nyad Story” in Los Angeles and Key West. Directed and adapted by Joshua Ravetch, who helped shape Carrie Fisher's Broadway show "Wishful Drinking," "Onward!” has received widespread praise.