USA Update Why Diana Nyad refused to let her 'Xtreme Dream' die (+video)

On her fifth crossing attempt, swimmer Diana Nyad became the first swimmer to cross the Straits of Florida unassisted by a shark tank. But the journey really began at age 8.

By , Contributor

Andy Newman/Florida Keys Bureau/AP

On Saturday morning, 64-year-old Diana Nyad slipped off her white terry cloth robe, put on her swim cap and goggles, and jumped into the Hemingway Marina in Havana, Cuba. After two days and two nights of swimming, Ms. Nyad touched the shores of Key West, Fla. She had become the first person to swim across the Straits of Florida without the protection of a shark cage.