Nyad shares inspirational story with St. Jude employees

Photography by Peter Barta

World-class swimmer Diana Nyad shared her inspirational story of persistence, age-defying feats and goal-setting with St. Jude employees March 6 as part of the hospital’s L.I.F.T. (Learning. Inspiration. Focus. Transformation.) series.

Nyad, 64, made history last September when she successfully swam from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Florida, becoming the first person ever to do so without a shark cage. The 100-mile journey was rife with potential obstacles—predatory sharks, deadly jellyfish, severe thunderstorms and strong ocean currents that could push her off course if not carefully calculated.

During the presentation in the hospital’s auditorium, Nyad shared her swimming background and how a team of 44 experts—swimmers, physicians, oceanographers, marine biologists, sports scientists and navigators—helped her to complete the 53-hour journey.