Diana Nyad “truthers” question the claims of her historic swim

The word “skepticism” is all over this story about Diana Nyad’s historic swim. Doubts abound.

Diana Nyad’s Historic Swim from Cuba to Florida Draws Skepticism from Swimmers | Bleacher Report.

Last week, Diana Nyad became the first person to complete the long-distance swim from Cuba to the United States without the benefit of a shark cage. While her accomplishment drew widespread praise and media coverage, some fellow long-distance swimmers remain skeptical.

Nyad started her journey in Havana and arrived in Key West, Fla., about 53 hours later. It was the 64-year-old American’s fifth attempt at the 110-mile feat. She wore protective gear to prevent jellyfish attacks, which were an issue during previous attempts.

This piece from Slate remark how she is alleged to have received help. Diana Nyad set to meet with skeptics about her marathon swim.

Critics say some of the GPS data is inconsistent and point to one seven-hour stretch where Nyad’s average speed of 3 miles per hour was double her normal 1.5 mph average. Nyad’s team maintains the change in speed was due to favorable currents, but that hasn’t been enough to quiet speculation that she either got in or held on to the support boat during this stretch.

But this report is comprehensive and contains remarks from experts who said she could have done it with the prevaling currents.

Mitch Roffer of Melbourne-based Roffer’s Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service Inc. said he got an email questioning whether Nyad’s swim was a hoax, so he decided to look at the charts for himself. What he saw convinced him that she could do it.

Janet Hinkle, a Key West boat captain and acquaintance of Nyad’s, was called to be an observer for the swim when Steve Munatones, a former U.S. national open-water coach, was unable to make it. “I can say unequivocally she swam every stroke without question,” Hinkle said.

The criticism has come from “truthers” on a swimming forum. This is the graph from the data that shows the dramatic increase.

diana-nyad-speed-graph-1

She plans to meet with her skeptical colleagues to answer their direct questions. This had been her fifth attempt.

Tip: Steve Liberace

  10 comments for “Diana Nyad “truthers” question the claims of her historic swim

  1. Chris Howard
    September 10, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    I think the word “Truther” is becoming synonymous with “Knee Jerk Contrarian.”

    I guess there’s a “Truther” movement for every subject?

  2. September 10, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    I don’t think there are Truther movements. I’m a Truther Truther. And if you think I’m being paid to say that, you’re a Truther Truther Truther.

    • September 10, 2013 at 4:38 PM

      Bob, you are a truther truther truther troublemaker. And I just messed up my brain…

  3. RDW
    September 10, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    It’s unfortunate, but this is what ” Skepticism ” is to a lot of people. I’d think a lot of the doubters are probably just a little jealous, and are trying to apply there own weakness to Ms. Nyad. Their egos are throbbing because they know full well that they wouldn’t be able to do it, so of course Ms. Nyad couldn’t have possibly done it. The current could have easily doubled her speed.

  4. drwfishesman
    September 10, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    I saw a chart from the gps of a guy whose boat sank in the Gulf of Mexico several years ago, at some points he was drifting up the 5 knots per hour in some currents. These “truthers” seem to be speaking from profound ignorance of the currents down here in the lower latitudes. Ironically, once you speak to someone familiar with the currents like Mitch Roffer, they don’t seem that surprised by Nyads feat of endurance.

  5. Chris Howard
    September 10, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    @ Bob

    For some reason your comment made me think of this: “If guns don’t kill people, people kill people then toasters don’t toast, toast. Toast toasts toast.” ;-)

  6. September 10, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    I heard a conversation about this on the radio. Apparently some of her detractors are complaining she did not follow “English Channel Rules” (this is noted in a couple of the articles listed above). Her response was that she was not swimming in the English Channel.

  7. Twang
    September 10, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    What I’m left wondering is how many attempts has she made?

  8. drwfishesman
    September 11, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    @Twang
    This most recent success was her 5th attempt. She previously had to stop due to jellyfish stings. The pictures of her after that were pretty nasty. She changed strategies and innovated each attempt, you should see the silicone mask she wore to protect her face from jellyfish this time. http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/03/tech/innovation/diana-nyad-face-mask/index.html

  9. ZombyWoof
    September 11, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    Whenever I hear the word “Truther” all I can think of to truly define it is “Liar”.

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