Nightly News   |  September 10, 2013

Swimmer Diana Nyad confronts her skeptics

Swimmer Diana Nyad is facing skepticism after her 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida. Fellow marathon swimmers are alleging that she got a boost and didn’t do it alone. NBC’s Mark Potter reports.

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

>>> finally tonight, it was a towering achievement. and it was cheered around the world when 64-year-old diane nyad came out of the water after that epic from cuba to key west , florida, her inspiring message to the world was never give up. but as the celebration has died down, some questions have come around about whether or not her herculean effort received a boost of any kind over 110 miles of open water . tonight, diane nyad is confronting the sceptics. nbc's mark potter has our report.

>> reporter: when 64 diane nyad waded onto the beach on key west last week after completing the 110 mile swim from cuba, she was wildly celebrated for her stunning achievement. but now nyad faces sceptics and questions on how she made the trip in just 53 hours, on her first leg in the water, they say she swam at a pace for a mile per hour, but on the second half she sped up dramatically, raising suspicions she may have clung to or got on board one of the boats surrounding her.

>> at one point she was traveling 6 miles an hour, over a stretch, to give you the idea of how fast it is, it is faster than the gold medal stretch.

>> reporter: but to give you her idea, she never grabbed onto the boat, much less boarded one.

>> diane did not cheat in any way, shape or form, and she is the type of person that would not cheat at anything.

>> reporter: dianna explained the ocean's shifts and currents helped her swim along. this independent scientist agrees, saying that the satellite data shows that during nyad 's swim, the current swung counter clock-wise, pushing her from southeast, at a fast pace.

>> she hit the jackpot hitting the current, at the right time and place, and it took her right to key west .

>> reporter: to the, nyad and her team are presenting data to the sceptics, mark potter , nbc news, miami.