Nyad: The Motion Picture

For over forty years, Diana Nyad has longed for a biopic devoted to her favorite subject, Diana Nyad.* We know this because, during those forty years, she has made a number of pronouncements about just such an epic.

Another thing we know: the last post ended with “Up next: Not all is lost.”

It’s still true that not all is lost, but this other film-related subject caught my attention. I’ll do my best to return us to our home planet in the next post.

Meanwhile, back at the Annex…

Below is a chronological list—lightly and snarkily annotated—of all of Nyad’s biopic-related pronouncements that I know of. Please let me know if you’ve come across others.
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Early Manhattan Women Swimmers on Film

As part of the festivities surrounding the 5th anniversary of Diana Nyad’s Cuba-Florida crossing, this open letter to the most reputable historians revisits one of Nyad’s biggest lies.

15 September 2018

Dear Reputable Historians,

You’ll recall that, back in 2011, CNN caught Diana Nyad lying about being the first woman to swim around Manhattan Island. In response, Ms. Nyad posted (then deleted) a disingenuous non-mea-culpa. You can still find it here.

An excerpt:

The history is unclear. The dissemination of accurate information has not followed an empirical path. I am waiting for the most reputable historians of the sport to dig further and publish their research as to their collective best versions as to who did in fact circle Manhattan, when and how.

Still from “Swim around Manhattan–outtakes” (via MIRC) showing Anne Priller Benoit joking with an unidentified competitor before the start of the 1930 race around Manhattan. Benoit finished 5th overall and 1st among the women.

I write to you, most reputable historians, in the hope that you’ll grab your shovels and resume digging.

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Why Does Diana Make Stuff Up?

Diana Nyad wants fortune, fame, and adoration. To ensure acquisition thereof, she exaggerates and lies.

Early in her career, Nyad was more candid than she is now about her career goals. From a 1975 interview:

I would not deny that the day to day motivations are fame and fortune…. I want very much to be recognized.

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