Nightly News   |  September 11, 2013

Diana Nyad speaks out against doubters

For nearly three and a half hours Diana Nyad and her team defended her 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida after skeptics raised questions and alleged that she had cheated. NBC’s Mark Potter reports.

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

>>> as we mentioned before the break, we are hearing tonight from diana nyad for the first time since those questions raised by doubters about her epic swim from cuba to key west . she was suspected in effect of cheating. last night, for hours, she defended her honor and her achievement. our report tonight from nbc's mark potter in miami.

>> i did this swim with my own body and my own mind, fair and square, squeaky clean. [ cheers ]

>> reporter: when diana nyad finally responded to the skep ticks who question ed the validity of her 110-mile swim from cuba to key west she was firm and to the point saying she did not cheat.

>> never did i grab hold of a boat. never did i exit the water to sit on the edge of a boat.

>> reporter: at the age of 64 diana nyad got into the water in havana, cuba , and swam through jellyfish and shark-infested waters for days. she was fed through a tube. after 53 hours she went ashore.

>> never, ever give up. [ cheers ]

>> reporter: a small group of skeptics raised questions about the swim. why she made such good time. might she have had help? for three and a half hours nyad and the team held a video conference call offering proof to other swimming experts that nyad 's triumph was by the book. at times she seemed frustrated by the questions.

>> we have been assaulted from every e different direction.

>> i don't think she should let it bother her. blow it off.

>> when people succeed and do something great people try to knock it down.

>> reporter: nyad 's navigator is releasing trip logs that explain why she was pushed so quickly by favorable currents.

>> the current at one point ran as fast as 3.5 or 3.6 knots which is close to 4 miles per hour.

>> reporter: having answered credit uhhics nyad hopes the questions will fade so she can once again celebrate her history-making swim. mark potter , nbc news, miami.