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Diana Nyad completes historic Cuba-to-Florida swim

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BTLRW5gCcAAVxuiEndurance swimmer Diana Nyad reached the shores of Key West on Monday afternoon, becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage.

She got to the shallow water on the beach and walked out of the water on her own, pumped her fist and was immediately swept up in the arms of one of her team members.

The swim took a course of about 110 miles that began on a beach in Havana Saturday.

The final strokes put her up against two familiar and formidable adversaries: fatigue and jellyfish.

This was the 64-year-old’s fifth attempt since 1978. The swim took 53 hours to complete.

Around 7:30 a.m. ET Monday, she was slurring her speech because of a swollen tongue and lips, her support team reported on its website.

As the team called her around dawn for her first feeding since midnight, she took longer than normal to reach the support boat, the report said.

Though she slurred her speech, the words were understandable. Before resuming her swim-crawl to Key West, her team applied a “sting stopper” substance to her forehead and cheeks in the hopes of warding off jellyfish stings.

“Don’t get it on my nose or eyes,” she said, according to her website.

Jellyfish stings have helped thwart her attempts before, so divers are swimming ahead of her, collecting jellyfish and moving them out of Nyad’s path.

When instructed Monday morning to follow the path that’s been cleared for her, she flashed her sense of humor, replying: “I’ve never been able to follow it in my life,” according to the website.

Nyad’s home stretch followed an overnight in which she became so cold, the team didn’t stop her for feeding until first light “in the hopes that swimming would keep her warm,” the website said.

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