Marathon Swimmer Diana Nyad Remains Defiant In Eyes Of Skeptics
Diana Nyad says she's no cheat.
She said, “I swam. We made it, our team, from the rocks of Cuba to the beach of Florida in squeaky clean ethical fashion."
The feisty 64-year-old grandmother sat for a grueling three-and-a-half hour conference call with skeptical members of the Marathon Swimming Association.
She said, “None of us would sully our reputations by doing anything untoward anything that would be adverse to the basic rules of never having any kind of aid for flotation and never having any kind unnatural aid of forward movement.”
Since she staggered ashore after her historic 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida, she's been bombarded by skeptics who claim she may have hitched a ride on a support boat at some point during her 53 hours in the water.
Marathon swimmer Andrew Malinak triggered the controversy when he pointed out that Nyad's speed suddenly increased from 1.5 miles to over 3 miles an hour more than half-way through the swim.
He told INSIDE EDITION, “I want to believe she did do it and I want to be convinced that she did it.”
Nyad said her sudden spurt in speed was caused by unusually strong Gulf Stream currents. She told the Today show it was a lucky break.
She said, “Don't I deserve a little luck after my previous four tries? I had luck on my side.”
But Malinak said that explanation doesn't hold water. He said an ocean current would have increased her speed more gradually.
He said, “A rapid increase and a rapid decrease in speed doesn't usually make a lot of sense when you are swimming in a large ocean current.”
INSIDE EDITION’s Les Trent asked, “Do you think Nyad cheated?”
Malinak said, “Deep down inside, I want to believe she didn't.”
Nyad promised to produce all the records of her swim to be analyzed by experts. Surprisingly, she's not offended by all the questions.
She said, “It is a bit exhausting and takes away from the elation we were just feeling on the beach, but we have to go through it and prove ourselves and I think we went a long way in this conversation.”