San Francisco, Calif., August 28, 2012 — Despite dangers from poisonous jellyfish stings, dehydration and storm squalls that pulled her miles off course, endurance swimmer Diana Nyad held firm in her resolve to complete a 103-mile open water swim from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida. Her mental toughness to overcome these intense obstacles lasted for a record-breaking 51 hours and 5 minutes (beginning 6:45pm August 18 and ending at 9:50am on August 21), until her crew of health professionals reluctantly pulled her out of the water as a life-saving precaution.
True to her indomitable spirit, Nyad insisted that she was fine and could go on… but finally accepted her wise crew's counsel that factors out of their control would make the completion of her athletic feat nearly impossible. However, Nyad's record-setting accomplishment stands as an outstanding example that advancing age should never hinder a woman's dreams. Nyad's courageous act has vaulted her onto a short list of female athletes whose unflagging spirit and inner strength serves as a powerful influence, inspiration and motivation to others.
Commenting on her latest endeavor, 63-year-old Nyad said "Attempting this swim has become an emblem of never giving up, not only to me and my life spirit, but to millions of people who are rooting for me to show them that we can all, at any age, live large. We should, every one of us, chase our own personal dreams."
As an official sponsor of Nyad's latest swim, Olivia Travel, the world's largest lesbian travel company and organizer of premier cruise, resort, adventure and luxury vacations around the globe, proudly announces Nyad as celebrity sports guest for their 2013 Ixtapa trip. Fans will have the rare opportunity to congratulate Nyad on her tremendous spirit and courage — as well as learn from her fitness and motivational expertise during Olivia's eight-day Club Med Ixtapa, Mexico resort vacation, on November 2-9, 2013.
"Diana Nyad sets an incredible example for athletes, and for women everywhere. While this journey didn't end how Diana might have hoped, the Olivia team congratulates her on her accomplishments and we are proud to support it all," says Olivia Founder and CEO Judy Dlugacz. "Olivia is thrilled to welcome Diana on next year's Ixtapa trip, and we know that guests will enjoy meeting such a gutsy, empowered individual."
Olivia's support of Nyad, helped cover the cost of boats carrying a 40-person crew that helped Nyad navigate dangerous waters and address sharks, jellyfish, nutrition, hypothermia and other challenges.
Nyad's latest attempt is part of an impressive career that includes several record-setting swims and a reputation as the world's greatest distance swimmer in her day. She circled Manhattan Island in just seven hours and 57 minutes in 1975, the first woman ever to do so, before her first Cuba to Florida attempt in 1978. After nearly 42 hours in the water, the voyage ended due to rough water and weather. The following year, Nyad completed what was then the longest swim in history: a 102.5 mile excursion from the Bahamas to Florida. Then, she stopped swimming for 30 years.
As she entered her 60s, Nyad decided to give the Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida feat another try. Her August 2011 attempt was interrupted by poor conditions after 39 hours. In September 2011, ocean swells, shoulder pain and asthma cut her efforts short. This year, fierce storm squalls that blew her off course, poisonous jellyfish that stung her face and lips, plus mounting hypothermia ended her swim about 50 miles short of success.
Nyad, a National Women's Hall of Fame and International Swimming Hall of Fame member, also heads up the online fitness business BravaBody.com and has covered sports for ABC's Wide World of Sports, Fox Sports Television and National Public Radio.
In addition to meeting Nyad, guests of Olivia's 2013 Ixtapa adventure will enjoy seven night's accommodations at the completely renovated Club Med flagship resort. They will relax in a new spa, two pools, three on-site restaurants, three bars and luxurious guest rooms. Outdoor adventures range from sailing and snorkeling to shopping and dancing, while trapeze, tennis, bocce and rollerblading headline a full schedule of fitness classes. An impressive lineup of solos mixers and evening entertainment complement the recreational activities, as well.
For Ixtapa trip information and reservations, or to learn more about Olivia, visit www.olivia.com or call (800) 631-6277. The company's 2013 travel schedule also includes two Caribbean cruises and two Punta Cana resort trips celebrating Olivia's 40th anniversary, new adventures in Ireland and the Scottish British Isles, Provence and Burgundy, Vietnam and Cambodia and more.