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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Diana Nyad

Diana Nyad just ended her second attempt to swim from Cuba to Key West. She attributed her stoppage to "wind conditions and less than ideal currents." Earlier reports had stated that she was suffering from asthma and shoulder problems, but she evidently preferred to mention only the extraneous factors.

I've never known a marathon swimmer who wasn't insanely egotistical.

I'm proud of the masters swimming records I've held -- which is bad enough. But the marathon swimmers I've known take egotism to an entirely different level. They tend to talk about their accomplishments nonstop, even to people who haven't the slightest interest in swimming. Even worse than that, they are so crazily conceited they can't even acknowledge that they are swimming for ego-driven reasons, and must justify their swims with noble-sounding causes (which they often ask you to contribute to).

Here is an excerpt from the AP article which came out an hour ago:

"Before the swim, Nyad told journalists she hoped her swim would inspire others her age to live active lives. She said she also hoped it could help improve understanding between Cold War rivals Cuba and the United States, even if just symbolically."

You have to have to be a pretty narcissistic personality to think of yourself as an inspiration to others. And you have to be awfully shameless to actually say that out loud. But you have to be downright insane to think that your swim will result in detente between two nations which have been longtime bitter enemies.


Anonymous said...

Let's hope she's now saying that her failure to complete the swim, symbolizing just how large and unbridgeable the U.S.-Cuba gap,has set back relations a couple of decades.

John Craig said...


Very good.

Richard said...

Can't agree with you on marathon swimmers in general. I know five folks who've done the Channel, and not one would bring it up by themselves (and didn't have propmasters to bring it up for them).

I also read Lynn Cox's biography, "Swimming to Antarctica," and while she did hope to bring peace to the Soviets and the US by swimming the Bering Straight, she writes about it in a way that says, "Boy, I was pretty young and naive."

John Craig said...

Richard --
Actually, now that I think of it, I have a friend who swam the Channel, and he is a very decent guy. I know him well enough that I don't even think of him as a marathon swimmer, but he is, or at least was. But I've also known two other Channel swimmers who were so beside themselves with egotism they weren't even able to hide it.