Diana Nyad said she wasn't assisted on her swim from Cuba to Florida

Sept. 11, 2013 at 8:46 AM
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MIAMI, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Swimmer Diana Nyad, who successfully completed the 110-mile journey from Cuba to Florida, said she is defending her accomplishment to her peers.

The questions could determine whether Nyad, 64, is affirmed as the first person to complete the swim unassisted and without a shark cage.

Nyad spoke with more than a dozen of her peers on a conference call Tuesday and insisted she was not helped, never used a flotation device or held onto a boat during her swim last week, CNN reported.

"I swam," she said. "We made it, our team, from the rocks of Cuba to the beach of Florida, in squeaky clean, ethical fashion."

Fellow swimmers also asked her how her speed nearly doubled at one point in the journey.

Her navigator, John Bartlett, said the team picked up a strong current that had them moving nearly four miles an hour, allowing her to quickly pick up the pace.

Nyad did admit she was touched in order to get into the suit that defended her from jellyfish stings.

One swimmer who was on the call said that action might be a determining factor.

"And I know she feels that was necessary, but I personally feel that puts in the category of an assisted swim," Evan Morrison, the co-founder of the Marathon Swimmers Forum said.

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