Diana Nyad Speaks Out Against Critics of Historic Swim

Nyad credits powerful current in final stretch of swim from Cuba to Key West, Fla.
3:05 | 09/11/13

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Transcript for Diana Nyad Speaks Out Against Critics of Historic Swim
Now, to diana nyad. Confronting her critics head-on. Skeptics claim she had helped completing her record-setting swim from cuba to florida. Now, nyad is speaking out about those allegations. And abc's gio benitez has diana's story. Reporter: Damaging, grueling and 100% legit. That's what diana nyad is telling skeptics about her regard-breaking swim that inspired the nation. Never, ever give up. Reporter: At 64 years old, on her fifth attempt, swimming from cuba to key west nine days ago, nyad reached shore? Just 53 hours. But marathon swimmers turned to social media, claiming nyad's unassisted 110-mile swim was an impossible feat. We never touched a boat. We did this thing squeaky clean, gio. Reporter: This morning, nyad tells us her only help, mother nature. Her swim, faster, she says, thanks to a powerful current in her final miles. Her navigator says it helped her reach speeds of up to 5.5 miles per hour, compared to 1.5 without it. Diana, the skeptics said that current was so rare, that it would be almost magical. What do you say about that? Did I finally, after five times, get some luck with the current? Rather than bad luck? Yes. We got a great gulf stream. Reporter: On an overnight conference call, the skeptics asked for the raw data. Having the information out there, helps us to analyze it, measure it, test it, smell it. It should be out there for all the world to see. We're not holding anything from you. Reporter: So many people were inspired by what you had to say. You never are too old to chase your dreams. Reporter: Do you think these questions diminish your message? I know they haven't for me. You know, I know what we did. I hope that the public is savvy and they realize that world records like this deserve to be scrutinized and looked at before they're then officially applauded. Reporter: And abc news also spoke with an independent marine specialist who says nyad's right, the currents off florida were in her favor that day. And you might have seen some claims that nyad went seven hours without food. She says that's a bad rumor. And that she was constantly eating soft foods, robin. Absolutely. She maintains that, gio. And a lot of it was transparency on her part. Shsted on her blog. And people were taking the information and trying to come up with some speculation. And unfortunately, trying to taint what she was able to accomplish. And, sam, when they're talking about the currents, and she will be the first one to say, you have to have a little luck. And so many timeshe currents will work against you in a situation like that. In this case, it actually worked for her. Give her a little kudos for that. I mean, that's not anything she set up. That's something she got lucky with. They're very strong currents in that area and they've taken a lot of lives. And she's had it both ways. Worked for her and worked against her.

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