Diana Nyad 10th Anniversary Community Celebration

When: October 21 - October 22, 2023

Where: Smathers Beach, South Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL 33040


A Decade of Triumph: Diana Nyad's Historic Swim from Cuba to Key West Commemorated with a Sea Turtle Release

In a tale of endurance and unwavering determination, Diana Nyad, the renowned endurance swimmer, is set to commemorate the remarkable 10th anniversary of her historic 111-mile swim from Havana to Key West. This celebration promises a unique and heartfelt experience for all who attend.

Release of "Rocky" the Green Sea Turtle

Join Diana Nyad and her Cuba swim expedition leader, Bonnie Stoll, as they release "Rocky," a remarkable 120-pound adult female green sea turtle. This extraordinary event is scheduled to take place on Sunday, October 22, at 9 a.m. at the picturesque Smathers Beach in Key West, right along South Roosevelt Boulevard.

"Rocky" has an inspiring story of recovery, having been rehabilitated at the esteemed Turtle Hospital located in the Florida Keys. Rescued in January by Florida Fish & Wildlife officers off Key Largo, this majestic creature was in dire straits, struggling and unable to dive. The journey to recovery was no small feat, including an eight-hour intestinal surgery, breathing treatments, and even a blood transfusion. After months of meticulous care and unwavering dedication, "Rocky" is now fully recovered and ready to return to her natural habitat.

This celebratory release of "Rocky" is not only a tribute to this remarkable turtle's endurance and resilience but also a symbolic gesture to honor Diana Nyad's own incredible achievements. Much like Nyad, "Rocky" has shown the same indomitable spirit and willpower.

A Triumph 10 Years in the Making

A decade ago, on Labor Day in 2013, nearly 2,000 people gathered at Smathers Beach to welcome Diana Nyad as she emerged from the waters after an astounding 52-hour and 54-minute swim. She became the first person to accomplish the feat of swimming from Cuba to Key West without the protection of a shark cage. Her victory sign, as she came ashore, remains an iconic moment etched in the annals of history.

Remarkably, Nyad achieved this dream on her fifth attempt, a dream she had held since her initial endeavor in 1978 when she first attempted the swim. Her achievement was not merely a physical feat but an embodiment of the human spirit's tenacity and determination.

A Day to Remember

On Sunday, October 22, the Turtle Hospital team will make their way to the beach at 8:30 a.m., conducting an informative session before Diana Nyad, Bonnie Stoll, and the hospital staff take part in releasing "Rocky" into the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. The event promises to be a gathering of the dedicated crew members who supported Nyad throughout her epic swim, and the public is heartily invited to join this special occasion.

In addition to the turtle release, an exciting beach party is scheduled for Saturday, October 21, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Smathers Beach. This will be a memorable opportunity to join Diana Nyad, Bonnie Stoll, and their dedicated crew members for remembrances and photos near the exact point where Nyad concluded her historic swim. Just like the turtle release, the beach party is open to the public, providing an unforgettable chance to be part of this remarkable celebration.

Diana Nyad's 10th-anniversary commemoration is a story of resilience, triumph, and the remarkable journey of "Rocky," the sea turtle. To be part of this historic moment and celebrate the human spirit's indomitable will, visit Diana Nyad's official website and Turtle Hospital's website for more information. Don't miss this opportunity to be a part of a truly extraordinary and inspirational celebration.

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