Nyad’s Manhattan 1st

Six women swam around Manhattan Island before Nyad:

Below is a list of Diana Nyad’s spoken and written comments about the Manhattan swim. These statements show that Nyad has knowingly and frequently lied about being the 1st woman. Nyad knows the names and times of her predecessors; but, by 2007, she began ignoring their accomplishments and moved herself from 7th to 1st.


“[T]he first woman completed the circuit [on September 24, 1916]. Ida Elionsky’s time was a very respectable 11 hours, 35 minutes. There were others who made the swim…., but I will simply mention the male and female record holders. Diane Struble…on August 15, 1959.…”
[OTHER SHORES      p. 57]


[Diane Struble passes away, the last of the pre-Nyad six to do so. See When Diane Struble Swam Lake George.]


“…no other woman had done it…. I was determined to be the first.”
[KCRW radio with transcript | clip]


“Like, I was the first woman to swim around Manhattan Island.”
[Walking Funny with Diana Nyad]


“…I hereby relinquish my title as the first woman. Nobody can ever take the glory of that day from me…. But for The First Woman, this honor belongs to others [sic].’
[From a blog post removed from diananyad.com, via Internet Archive. Also here.]


“In my teens and twenties, I was a world champion swimmer and held a number of world records, in the ocean particularly: first woman to swim around Manhattan Island, you know, and that sort of thing.”
[Diana: A Documentary]


“There were some solo swims—I swam around Manhattan Island, was the first woman to do that, etc.”
[Beachbody Summit]


“A little research told the stories of a handful of men who had swum all the way around, in the early 1900s, but it hadn’t been done since 1927….”
[Find a Way     p. 66]

2016 (May)

“I said, ‘Hey, my name’s Diana Nyad, and I’m going to be the first woman to swim around Manhattan Island.’”*
[Mondays at the Mission]

2016 (Aug)

“Before Cuba, way back in 1975, the swim that made my heart race was Manhattan. I was the first woman to circle the island.”

  • She’s ostensibly teaching life skills at the Union Rescue Mission in New York, so this version is particularly shameless.