Diana Nyad says that she swam 110 miles from Cuba to Florida. Sarah Thomas asserts that she swam 104 miles in Lake Champlain.
Before you attempt to join the 100-mile club, use this handy chart to compare the way these two very different athletes went about bolstering their claims. [Update, 12/31/17: Added “including an accurate list of all crew members” to AFTER THE SWIM section.]
|BEFORE THE SWIM|
|Chose a reputable organization to oversee the swim.||√||X|
|Agreed on rules and put them in writing.||√||X|
|Had a history of recent swims that indicated an ability to complete 100+ miles.||√||X|
|DURING THE SWIM|
|Swam unassisted. ¹||√||X|
|Used experienced independent observers.||√||X|
|Kept regular and accurate logs. ²||√||X|
|Videoed swim. ³||21+ hrs.||< 5 min.|
|Photographed swim.||4K+ images||???|
|Made GPS data readily available.||√||X|
|AFTER THE SWIM|
|Made all swim data easily accessible to all, including an accurate list of all crew members.||√ (here)||X|
|Did not make confusing and misleading statements about the swim.||√||X|
|Did not ask and expect the media and the public to believe without question pretty much everything she said.4||√||X|
Who do you believe? 5
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- Nyad initially claimed that she swam unassisted and untouched. Both assertions proved false.
- Thomas’s observers made bi-hourly log entries throughout her swim. Nyad has claimed that her observers made entries “every minute,” but her logs have gaps of up to 6 hours.
- The only available video of Nyad’s swim comes from the beginning and the end. The rest has vanished.
- Ms. Thomas hasn’t gotten a lot of media coverage, Sarah Thomas: the woman who swam a century notwithstanding.
- I know it’s supposed to be “whom,” but that just sounds silly.