Diana Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage on Monday, as the 64-year-old swimmer completed the 103-mile distance about 53 hours after she left Havana, Cuba on Saturday morning.
Nyad had attempted the feat four times in the past and proclaimed that the fifth attempt would be her final one. She first attempted the swim in 1978 at age 28, albeit in a shark cage. It wasn't until 2011 that she returned for a second attempt.
Congratulations to @DianaNyad. Never give up on your dreams.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) September 2, 2013
In past attempts, Nyad had been thwarted by jellyfish stings and had a team of divers working to collect jellyfish ahead of her and clear a path. She also completed the swim with a jellyfish protection suit and also had available a mask to protect from jellyfish stings to her tongue.
At 7:30 a.m. ET on Monday, Nyad's team reported on her website that her lips and tongue had swelled and that they were concerns about her airway, but not enough to intervene in her swim.
Nyad left Havana, Cuba at 8:59 a.m. on Saturday and arrived in Key West, Florida about 53 hours later, just before 2 p.m. on Monday.