Marathon swimmer Diana Nyad dedicated an exhibit at Key West’s Custom House Museum Friday, featuring items she wore during her landmark 2013 swim from Havana to Key West.
The installation includes the bathing suit, goggles and custom-designed jellyfish protection face-mask Nyad used during the nearly 111-mile swim that took almost 53 hours.
Nyad donated the personal memorabilia to the Key West Art & Historical Society, which operates the museum, to recognize the support she received from the Key West community.
“I finished here, the goal was to come to Key West,” Nyad said after addressing attendees at a dedication ceremony on the porch of the Custom House Museum. “I am honored that our endeavor and our history that we made here is now part of permanent history in this town.”
Nyad was 64 years old when she succeeded on her fifth attempt to complete the Florida Straits crossing. Landing on Key West’s Smathers Beach, she became the first person ever to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage.
Saturday morning, she is to lead a nine-mile walk in Key West as part of her national “EverWalk” fitness initiative, beginning near the Smathers Beach location where she came ashore in 2013.
During her Key West visit, Nyad also led a parade kicking off the annual Kelly McGillis Classic International Women’s & Girls’ Flag Football Championship and hosted a book signing for her inspiring memoir “Find a Way.”