Diana Nyad Discusses Ending Historic Swim

Endurance swimmer, 63, was forced to quit her Cuba-Florida swim after storms rolled in.
3:00 | 08/22/12

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Transcript for Diana Nyad Discusses Ending Historic Swim
Test Text1 plain Diana nyad fought for every stroke, trying to set an epic endurance record, swimming from cuba to florida. We're going to hear from diana in just a minute. First, abc's matt gutman has the story of her incredible story. Reporter: For diana nyad, these were the final strokes of failure. But she refuses to concede defeat. Nyad symbolically swimming to shore, after she failed to complete her bid, of the tortuous 103-mile swim from cuba to key west. But she was cheered as a champion, nonetheless. Can I say there's no disappointment? No. Reporter: Exhaustion, also, forcing her to sit, legs wobbly. But it was the second storm in as many nights that officially ended her quest. The crew saying it was too dangerous to go on. Nyad angrily on the deck, shaking her head. See her face battered by salt and jellyfish, after she got out of the water. If anything came close to sinking her spirit, it was the jellyfish. These jellyfish are prolific. And to me, there's no joy in that. Reporter: Out of the water, the crowd sang "happy birthday," one day before her big day. She feels as strong as ever. There's no doubt, I'm in better shape at 62, than in my 20s. Reporter: More than 60 hours in the water, a personal record. But still, 50 miles short of what she calls her extreme dream. Matt gutman, abc news, key west, florida. All right, matt. Thank you. And diana nyad joins us now from key west. Diana, it's so good to lay our eyes on you. We know that you have been through so much. How are you doing physically and emotionally this morning, diana? I'm sitting here, just a few hours, you know, after that ordeal. And it was an ordeal. It wasn't just a normal swim. Just a kitchen sink kept getting thrown at us in every way. And I literally -- I've lost a little weight. I feel a little weak. I literally have no lactic acid. No soreness in these arms. This 62-year-old body, believe it or not, is a better athlete today than when I was in my supposed prime. What was that moment like when you were pulled from the water? And you felt that you still had more in you. You got to get real sometimes. You know, I'm not a quitter. I've never quit anything in my whole life. But because of the jellyfish, robin, it's not the squalls. And it's not the powerful gulf stream and the tricky currents. It's not the sharks. We had a number of large predators swimming under me that second night. You know how unsettling that is? Our shark divers, six guys, experts in their field, are in the water, just vigilant watching pairs of eyes all around. And we went through a few frightening moments on this swim. But the truth is, it's all about the jellyfish. The lips -- you see how swollen my lips are. This is not sun exposure. This is not salt exposure. It's a sting from a jellyfish and a tentacle no thicker than our strand of hair. I'm covered with a suit and pantyhose over my head. And you're telling me that a piece of hair finds me out there and stings me badly? Sends you into chills and -- it took the joy out of it. It was hard to come out in any ways. But it was the right decision. There's a bigger story here, isn't there? Is it the journey? Or the destination? In the end, it's always about the journey. That's the stuff of life. I took three years of my life to try to accomplish this extreme dream. So, I didn't make it. But you know what? The journey was thrilling. I wanted to say personally to you, robin, we all know because you've been so loving to share what's going on in your life with all of us, who are huge fans and feel such affection for you, that you are in front of something that's difficult. We all know you're going to be just fine. But nevertheless, it's difficult. And you're making the right decisions, calmly and surrounding yourself with your faith and the people you love. And you'll never look back with any regret because you're doing it the right way. You have taught me so much. That's your journey. Yes. And life is a journey, not a destination. You keep saying 62. You're 63 today, diana nyad. Happy birthday to you. I forgot. I forgot, yeah. I am. You're proud. You're making us all very proud. Have a wonderful time. I know you're surrounded by a lot of love and mutual friends there in key west. Bless you. Continued blessings. And I'll see you down the road, diana. And the same right back to you. You take good care of yourself. I love her. This is something that I have in my dressing room. Life is a journey, not a destination. India.Arie gave me this years ago. I agree. What a journey it's been. Yes, it has. And the journey continues

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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