Key West, Florida (CNN) – This time, neither storm nor jellyfish, nausea nor utter fatigue could keep 64-year-old endurance swimmer Diana Nyad from achieving her lifelong ambition of conquering the Straits of Florida.
On September 2, Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a protective cage, willing her way to a Key West beach just before 2 p.m. ET, nearly 53 hours after jumping into the ocean in Havana for her fifth try in 35 years.
Nyad pumped her fist as she walked onto the beach toward an awaiting medic before being guided to an ambulance.
Dozens of onlookers — some in kayaks and boats, many others wading in the water or standing on shore — gathered to cheer her on as she finished the more-than-100-mile swim.