Post Diana Nyad swim

Well, now that it’s over, I just don’t know. After being moved to the boat for medical reasons last night, I kind of lost some interest. If it wasn’t for people wanting to know I would have left it alone.

For how long is medical intervention and the swimmer being on the boat allowed? Not at all under Channel rules. I do know of one case where an accident on board had the swimmer removed from the water. It could have been restarted, since it had nothing to do with the swimmer, but wasn’t and was deemed a No-Swim. Our rules are pretty basic, 135 years old and haven’t changed. If the swimmer touches the boat the swim is over. But hey, most of us are just ordinary swimmers. We end up broke from doing swims. So many swims we’d all like to do but can’t afford. We don’t have an industry depending on us.

Maybe I’m wrong in my interpretation also. I’m not a lawyer of open water swimming rules. I see it pretty simply. Get in and swim. Anything that can be passed to you that is swim- legal is fine. Touch the boat and it’s over. There’s an equality in Channel rules that applies to us all. We don’t want the rules changed. (On Diana Nyad’s last attempt there were some alleged reports of heat pads being passed down to her).

I’m reminded of a quote from the advertising of the Spiderman movie: “You’ll believe an ordinary man can change the world” or some such words. To which the obvious riposte was “yes, so long as he has superpowers from a radioactive spider bite”.

Luckily not too many non-swimmers read this, but I guess I’ll still get a share of abuse if anyone reads this. I’m not equating myself with Diana Nyad’s ability and track record. But I do think of Lisa in the cold and dark of the English Channel, on her double EC solo, doing something that to me was more incredible than Diana Nyad, because she didn’t have a quarter of million dollar team backing her, and she still made history. We haven’t been bitten by metaphorical radioactive spiders, so only the ordinary rules apply to us, I guess.

Before you decide to abuse me, I do agree with Diana Nyad ethos of dreaming large, of trying to go beyond yourself. I admire and applaud her vision. Once again I’ll remind you, I’m just an ordinary swimmer, commenting, on a laptop in the middle of nowhere. I don’t get to make up my own rules.

12 thoughts on “Post Diana Nyad swim

  1. Perhaps Diana should have tried something that actually might have been an attainable goal for her. Rumor has it she failed 3 times to swim the English Channel. If the rumor is true then why on earth other than for PR would she then attempt some 30 years later a swim 5 times as long as what she previously failed? It was all about the money and she already has products for sale and the book can’t be too far behind.


    • Hey Mary, you know, I’d always assumed she’s Soloed, so I checked the database, and she’s not in there. Interesting, thanks!

      I’m always reminded of the Chad Hundeby story, before he Soloed,even though he was OW World Champion, and went on to set the EC records, he said until he Soloed, that other World Circuit OW swimmers just didn’t take him that seriously, they would just go quiet and walk away. I must check out your rumour!


  2. Let me say first that I agree completely with your sentiment. My question is, what makes this any different from the wetsuit debate, and does it make us elitist to criticize someone for a liberal interpretation of the rules?


  3. I am in agreement with you here. Too much hype/advertising/investors only leads to a “success at any price; make the rules up as you go situation”. I had the great honor of stopping by Lisa’s boat. We completed a relay, and she was on her way to France. I revisit that moment in my mind when I need inspiration.


    • Let’s not blur the lines of what is an acceptable swim and what isn’t. There is a reason for rules and there has been a lot of blurring of the lines lately in order to promote open water swimming. Think of the can of worms this opens! Who is to decide what is an acceptable medical reason and how long treatment is required and regardless the swimmer is getting rest by being on the boat.


    • It is those rules that make marathon swimming so difficult and something to which to aspire. Apart from that, the vast majority of us don’t get to make up rules as we go along.


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.