Nightly News   |  September 03, 2013

How did Diana Nyad complete 110-mile swim?

Diana Nyad is in remarkably good condition after swimming from Cuba to Florida. The swimmer clues us in to how she completed this remarkable feat. NBC’s Nancy Snyderman reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now to the drama this country, millions of people across this country watched play out this past weekend. a dream, really that was 35 years in the making, finally came true for 64-year-old diana nyad , who completed a swim over 100 miles from cuba to key west , florida. she said afterward, her message was never give up. she also called her solo swim a team effort. more on that tonight from our chief medical editor dr. nancy snyderman .

>> yeah!

>> reporter: a triumphant diana nyad , appeared astonishingly energized just one day after completing a 110 mile swim in just under 53 hours. sunburned and swollen, the 64-year-old seemed barely phased by her historic accomplishment. instead, thanking her team for getting her through.

>> this isn't my victory, it's our victory. i wanted to swim this endeavor, not to just be the athletic record, i wanted it to be a lesson for my life that says, be fully engaged. be so awake and alert and alive, every minute of every waking day.

>> here's how she powered through, 51 strokes a minute. she dodged threats from jellyfish and sharks, but could not escape the waves, vomiting so much sea water she was vomiting continuously. she separated her mind from her body by singing songs, janis joplin and neil young and counted in french, spanish and german. and when she finally made it. she was in remarkably good condition. she lost about six pounds. she had only minor injuries, a few cuts on her tongue from a face mask . she was hospitalized for just one hour, all vital signs were norm normal. and her first meal on dry land , a chocolate dairy queen blizzard. today across the country and at the pool in pasadena where she trained, people celebrated the meaning of nyad's accomplishment. dreams do not have to disappear with age.

>> you're never too old. i'm 74 years old, and i'm enjoying every minute of it. keep going. go until you can't go no more.

>> athletic endeavor aside, this was about grit. and a reminder to all of us, brian, there is no shelf life for dreams.

>> go until you can't go no more. dr. nancy snyderman ,