Update 2:00 p.m. Over 110 miles and nearly 53 hours later, Diana Nyad just became the first person to ever complete the swim from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark cage. Somehow Nyad was able to walk onto the beach after getting out of the water. She did a fist pump, sat down, and told the cheering crowd to "never, ever give up."
Then she was taken away on a stretcher.
Update: 12:54 p.m. Nyad is now less than two miles from shore. Her team is clapping and cheering for her as she makes her last charge towards land. ABC News has a livestream documenting the final leg of her journey.
Original: Here's your feel-good Labor story. Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad has roughly five miles to go before she finally completes the record-breaking marathon swim from Cuba to Key West, Florida that has eluded her for over 35 years.
This is the closest Nyad, 64, has ever come to completing the feat in her five attempts. It's been her goal since 1978 to become the first person to ever complete the journey without the aid of a shark cage. Nyad tried to complete the over 100 mile swim for the first time at 28 years old. She couldn't do it, though, and it clearly haunted her. Nyad tried again in 2010, again in 2011, and twice in 2012, but each time she was forced to quit because of dehydration, exhaustion, or a sting from one of the massive, poisonous box jellyfish that populate the waters. Her last attempt was cut short about 50 miles from her destination because of terrible weather and life threatening jellyfish stings.
There are doctors travelling in one of the boats tracking Nyad's health, safety and progress who are concerned about her swollen lips and tongue. But, so far, they have chosen not to halt Nyad's quest to complete her dream.
Barring any last minute set back, Nyad will likely finish her journey on Monday between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. ET. Her 35-person team is liveblogging her progress on her website. So far Nyad has swam 102 miles since she left Cuba's Marina Hemingway on August 31. In total her team estimates Nyad will swim over 110 miles.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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