Diana Decides to Forget Half of Her Life

After years of writing and talking about herself, Diana Nyad misplaces three decades.

On a recent episode of the “Wild Ideas Worth Living” podcast, host Shelby Stanger asked about Diana Nyad about her expulsion from Emory University, an incident that Nyad has recounted numerous times. Surprisingly, she claimed that she had little memory of her teens, twenties, or thirties. She concluded, “…I don’t remember Emory at all.” Below are some excerpts from Nyad’s remarks. (For the full passage, please see “Diana Nyad on her memory.”)

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Diana’s GREAT Surprise, part 3

The final entry examining Diana Nyad’s bizarre response to being caught in her Manhattan lie.

Chicago Tribune front page, August 7, 1926, the day after Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to swim the English Channel.

Nyad Invokes Ederle, and All is Lost

After being recognized as the first woman to swim around Manhattan in both highly regarded press and swimming circles...

Diana, Diana, Diana: we’ve been through this already. It never happened.

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Diana’s GREAT Surprise, part 2

The second of three entries examining Diana Nyad’s bizarre response to being caught in her Manhattan lie.

Billions of Gallons of Sewage Can’t Be Wrong

I was in graduate school for Comparative Literature at NYU in 1975 and when I came back to school in the fall, after a summer on the world marathon swimming circuit, such as the annual swim across the Bay of Naples, from Capri to Naples, Italy...

Nyad may or may not have gone to NYU, but she did swim the Capri-Naples race the summer of ’75. It would be her last time: she finished fourth of seven women, 14th overall—not the best evidence for her “greatest long-distance swimmer in the world” claim (see “Nyad’s Promotional Materials”).

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Diana’s GREAT Surprise, part 1

The first of three entries examining Diana Nyad’s bizarre response to being caught in her Manhattan lie.

In 2011, CNN caught Diana Nyad lying about being the first woman to swim around Manhattan Island. In response, Nyad did not apologize for—nor even acknowledge—her deception. Instead, she posted a blog entry full of excuses, justifications, irrelevant information—and many more lies.
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Manhattan Project 2: The Titanium Cap of Will

Nyad’s “Fearless!” performance contained much of her usual crowd-pleasing poppycock, but she hit the mother lode with her original take on protective headgear.

Tom Terrific and his non-titanium thinking cap.

As per my previous post, Diana Nyad appeared on the New Yorker Festival’s Fearless!: Life on the Edge panel on Saturday, October 7. Except for her religious conversion (see below), I heard nothing new…with one important exception: Ms. Nyad’s “Titanium Cap of Will.”

I hadn’t planned on writing anything about the event, but a Titanium Cap of Will? All quotes below come from Nyad at Fearless!.
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Diana Nyad’s Manhattan Project

Diana Nyad’s transparent and greedy Manhattan lie–“I was the first woman to swim around Manhattan Island”–gives us the key to understanding all of her deceptions.

Fearless fish and jelly.
Photo by Richard Wonka via Shutterstock

Diana Nyad returned to Manhattan on Saturday for the New Yorker Festival’s Fearless!: Life on the Edge. The panel–arranged by a highly respected magazine, occurring on the island of her most obvious lie, consisting of three genuine articles and one fraud–provided an indicator of the success of Nyad’s deceit. Despite her decades of deception, she took the stage unabashed. She recited stories that she has often parroted in other venues. Only a few in the audience knew that they sat in the presence of one of the greatest sports cheaters in history.
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The Great Swim

A great read about the race to become the first woman to swim the English Channel, THE GREAT SWIM costars Mille Gade, 2nd to swim the channel (and to circle Manhattan). And then there are the touching bits.

512zC3AHGbL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The English Channel is the closest thing we have to a Mt. Everest of marathon swims, contrarians notwithstanding. I recently finished The Great Swim, a book about the summer of 1926, when four American women went to Europe, all wanting to become the first female to conquer their Everest. It’s a fascinating story well-told. The author, Gavin Mortimer, also writes of the aftermath–how being first nearly destroyed the life of the young and unworldly Gertrude Ederle.

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