SARASOTA, Fla. -- 64-year-old Diana Nyad was celebrated for her swim from Cuba to Key West last week in waters filled with sharks, jellyfish and dangerous currents. But the swim didn't just make history, it's also causing some controversy, because many are split on whether Nyad's swim should make the record books.
"If I get some awards I will be gracious about it but people's individual reactions mean everything," said Nyad in an interview after completing the 110 mile swim.
Here on the Suncoast those reactions have been positive
"I didn't think she would have made it this time but she's out smarted everybody, I'm very proud of her," said Sarasota resident Kenneth Starnes.
But many in the marathon swim community feel differently. Asking questions like did she hold on to the boat at any time? Did she get out of the water and how could her speed at one time nearly double?
"Her crew reported nearly a 7 and a half hour stretch the second night of her swim where she neither consumed any calories or any liquids and I think most experienced marathon swimmers look at that and think its impossible," said marathon swimmer Evan Morrison.
But many swimmers here on the Suncoast disagree.
"The last thing I heard was she had the currents on her side. I think its great she picked a great time to do it. I don't believe she cheated," said Masters swimmer Lori Overly.
And Overly isn't alone in her thoughts.
"I wanna give the athlete the benefit of the doubt until someone can show me definitive proof. She's tried so many times she was defiantly in the water all that time and that alone is quite a feat," said Sarasota Swim coach Ira Klein.
In the mean time Nyad is remaining positive. "I'm sure this swim will be ratified in do time," she added.