Swimming And Finding A Way

Imagine seeking a specific goal for decades. Is it finding that special someone? Is it becoming a CEO? Is it being elected to public office? Is it creating an invention?

Everyone has goals, but some seek – and fail and fail over and over again – their lifelong goals for years and years. It is hard to continue. It is so easy to give up and move onto something else. But it is unlikely that the achievement of your goals comes at the age of 64. In any endeavor.

For this reason, Diana Nyad was nominated for the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year in 2013. She has shown – whether she was successful or not in swimming from Cuba to Florida, that she had…has…possesses the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are best known for.

Her WOWSA Award nomination reads, “Few people in the world fail at something four times, and try again. Even fewer people fail at something for 35 years, and keep trying. But Diana Nyad kept her athletic dream alive for decades and finally achieved it at the age of 64. The charismatic media magnet and a former professional marathon swimmer from the 1970s dreamed, plotted, planned, and willed her way across 110 miles in the Straits of Florida from Cuba to Florida. 52 hours after swimming from shore to shore, her Xtreme Dream was finally realized. Faced with non-believers even among her team, she dramatically demonstrated why it is important to never give up on a dream no matter what your age. For her patience, for her belief in herself and her team, and for her relentless pursuit of a lifetime goal in the face of widespread doubt, Diana Nyad is a worthy nominee for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

In her recent TED Talk (shown above), she talks about the importance of never giving up – and gives some good answers as to the question, Why?

That spirit of Nyad’s is shared by all the courageous and extraordinary women who were nominated for the 2013 WOWSA World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year:

1. Anna-Carin Nordin, The Oceans Seven First (Sweden)
2. Charlotte Brynn, Channel Swimmer and Aquatic Adventurist (New Zealand)
3. Diana Nyad, Xtreme Dreamer (U.S.A.)
4. Kimberley Chambers, Ballerina Soars in the Open Water (New Zealand)
5. Lorna Cochran, Near-nonagenarian Navigates Nirvana (South Africa)
6. Lynn Kubasek, Volunteer Extraordinaire In The Pacific (U.S.A.)
7. Martina Grimaldi, World Champion Racer (Italy)
8. Michelle Macy, Reaching the Summit of the Oceans Seven (U.S.A.)
9. Nadia Ben Bahtane, A Maternal Moroccan Miracle (Morocco)
10. Nuala Moore, Going to the Extremes (Ireland)
11. Olga Kozydub, Professional Marathon Swimming Champion (Russia)
12. Poliana Okimoto, 3-time World Championship Medalist (Brazil)
13. Sarah Thomas, Double Crosser (U.S.A.)
14. Sally Minty-Gravett, 5 Decades in the Making (Jersey)
15. Shelley Taylor-Smith, Serving with Distinction (Australia)

The previous World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year recipients include:

* 2008: World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year – Edith van Dijk (Netherlands) shown above
* 2009: World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year – Poliana Okimoto (Brazil)
* 2010: World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year – Anne Marie Ward (Ireland)
* 2011: World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year – Pilar Geijo (Argentina)
* 2012: World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year – Annaleise Carr (Canada)

Online voting takes place here.

Steven Munatones