Nyad at the Ebell, part 2: It was Always Cuba, The Bartlett Pair, and Other Myths

More nonsense from Diana Nyad’s presentation a the Ebell of Los Angeles on October 7, 2019.

Warning: This post contains profanity—mostly “bullshit,” because Diana Nyad utters mainly that.

¡Cuba Siempre! 

After claiming to have been “the best ocean swimmer in the world” (see previous post), Nyad takes a step back to admire her grandeur and finds it wanting:

I held all the major records on planet Earth, uh, out in the open sea. But for me, all those were in one category—the Bay of Naples, the swims along the Argentine coast—all respectable, tough swims. But it was always about Cuba for me.

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Nyad at the Ebell, part 1: The Best on Planet Earth

In a talk earlier this month, Diana Nyad declared that, in the 1970s, she “held all the major records on planet Earth.” With those words, she swept under the carpet all the genuinely great swimmers of that decade.

On Monday, October 7, 2019, Diana Nyad spoke at the Ebell Club of Los Angeles for its 125th Anniversary Opening Day Lunch. “Come and meet this extraordinary woman,” reads the Ebell site,

…and hear her story. On the 125th Anniversary of the Ebell, the courage, determination and resilience of Diana Nyad are an inspiration to us all. (Ebell of L.A.)

My son Noah and I attended. Afterward, I tried to write something about the event. Only after finishing, though, did I realize what I’d been writing about. After that realization, the tone felt inappropriate. I couldn’t bring myself, however, to scrap the whole thing, hence the following preamble.


The crux of Nyad’s presentation—as it is with much of her writing and public speaking—was her attempt to erase from history many of the great women swimmers of the past.
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Anatomy of a 1978 Nyad Press Release

A press release Diana Nyad issued just before her first Cuba-Florida attempt confirms her breathtakingly flexible approach to the truth.

Just before her first Cuba-Florida attempt, Diana Nyad and her PR firm, the Kalmus Corporation, sent out a press release in the hopes of rounding up some sponsors.

Nyad wanted potential backers to know that she was one of the greatest marathon swimmers on the planet. You can imagine, then, that she and her PR crew had to lie through their teeth get creative. And that’s just what they did.
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