Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Key West to honor Diana Nyad Sept. 1

On the eve of the one-year anniversary of her successful swim from Havana to Key West, marathon swimmer Diana Nyad is to be honored near the location where she stepped out of the ocean on Sept. 2, 2013.

At 10 a.m. Monday there will be an unveiling of a bronze plaque installed by the City of Key West on the promenade wall in front of Smathers Beach near entrance 11. The public is invited to attend and Nyad is scheduled to be present.

"For Key Westers, Labor Day 2013 will always be remembered as the day that Diana finally realized her dream," said Key West City Commissioner Teri Johnston, who is helping to organize the event.

Michael Shields, board chair of Key West's Art in Public Places, said eventually a life-size bronze sculpture of Nyad will augment the plaque.

At age 64 and on her fifth attempt, Nyad became the first person to swim from Havana to Florida without a shark cage. She completed the almost 111-mile trip in 52 hours and 54 minutes.

Nyad first attempted the feat in 1978 at age 28. More than 30 years later she began training to try again, making two attempts in the summer of 2011 and another in August 2012.