Diana Nyad Granted Sport Merit Award in Cuba

Prensa Latina News Agency

American long distance swimmer Diana Nyad received here the Order of Sporting Merit granted by the State Council of the Republic of Cuba, in the protocol lounge of The Little Lake.

Cristian Jimenez, president of the Cuban Institute of Sports, decorated this weekend Nyad, first human to cross without fins, wetsuit and protective cage the Strait of Florida between Cuba and the United States.

At the ceremony of homage, Miguel Diaz-Canel, first vice president of the Caribbean nation, highlighted the feat starring American after four failed attempts in 1978, 2011 and two in 2012.

Those upholding their dreams with noble purposes are able to make them come true, said the official, before remembering other feats achieved by Nyad like swimming around Manhattan Island, United States, for more than seven hours in 1975.

He also praised the strength of will, determination, perseverance and decisiveness the athlete to overcome to overcome an obstacle that seemed insurmountable and write a new chapter in the history of sports. These principles are not foreign to us, are similar to those that have guided the Cuban people over its history: courage, strength, unity, perseverance, confidence and optimism, said Cuban First Vice President.

Accompanied by members of his team, Nyad, visibly moved by the emotion, described this award as the most profound and precious received throughout her career because of the great respect and admiration she has for the Cuban people.

For me it was very important to achieve the dream of linking two great countries, such as Cuba and the United States are stressed the honoree, who reached the coast of Florida on September 2 last year, when she was 64, after swimming for 52 hours and 58 minutes.

In press conference after event, the swimmer acknowledged that the second night of the fifth attempt was about to leave because she was very cold and felt her body did not give any more.

However, supported by a team of 39 professionals and especially her coach, regained strength and pace to achieve the feat. Now next goal is to walk across the United States, from California to Washington, in 2016, for three months, along with a million people as part of a campaign to fight obesity in your country.

‘Then after we walk across the United States we will come here to walk across the island of Cuba with a large group of Cubans and Americans together as good neighbors and friends “said Nyad, considered one of the best swimmers in long distance story .

Before the feat achieved by Nyad, only the Australian Malroney Susie had swum the Straits of Florida, but protected with a cage against shark attacks in 1997.

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