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Record-Setting Swimmer Diana Nyad to Speak at Motivational UCSB Arts & Lectures Event

Diana Nyad

UCSB Arts & Lectures presents an afternoon with record-setting long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, at UCSB Campbell Hall.

In her lecture, Diana Nyad will discuss her life, how she refuses to let age hold her back and where she finds the strength and motivation to persevere. Books will be available for purchase and a signing will follow the event.

At the age of 64, in her fifth and final attempt, Diana Nyad successfully fulfilled her lifelong dream of completing the 110-mile swim through shark and jellyfish-infested waters from Cuba to Florida in 2013.

Upon completing her grueling 53-hour journey, a breathless Nyad told the world, “I have three messages. One is we should never ever give up, two is you are never too old to chase your dreams, and three is it looks like a solitary sport, but it takes a team.”

Never one to quit, Nyad began her “Xtreme Dream” quest of swimming from Cuba to Florida at the age of 60 in July 2010, a task she had failed to finish 30 years earlier. Unsuccessful in 2010, she tried two more times, in 2011 and 2012, before completing the historic swim in 2013.

Now a prominent sports broadcaster, author and public speaker, Nyad’s new memoir — Find a Way, which debuts in hardcover Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015 — explores her extraordinary quest to live life at the highest level, in and out of the water.

In the 1970s, Nyad was the greatest long-distance swimmer in the world. Her world records, such as circling Manhattan Island and crossing the 102.5 miles between the Bahamas and Florida, have led to inductions to many halls of fame, such as the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame.

As a sports broadcaster, Nyad has filed compelling reports for NPR, ABC’s Wide World of Sports, Fox Sports and The New York Times. She has written three books and speaks French and Spanish fluently.

Nyad has also earned a reputation as a uniquely passionate and entertaining public speaker, earning standing ovations with a broad spectrum of audiences.

She recently debuted the one-woman theater show, Onward! The Diana Nyad Story, in Los Angeles and Key West. Directed and adapted by Joshua Ravetch, who helped shape Carrie Fisher’s show Wishful DrinkingOnward! has received praise among the theater community. 
An Afternoon with Diana Nyad is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures. Book sales courtesy of Chaucer’s Books.

Tickets range from $25–$40 for the general public and $10 for UCSB students with a current I.D. For tickets and more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805.893.3535 or purchase online at

UCSB Arts & Lectures gratefully acknowledges the generous support of SAGE for its major corporate support of the 2015–16 season.

— Caitlin O'Hara is a senior writer and publicist for UCSB Arts & Lectures.


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