Diana Nyad Said She Battled ‘Hell on Earth’ Conditions to Achieve Swim Dream

Diana Nyad said she battled “hell on earth” conditions while swimming Saturday night from Cuba to Florida before finally realizing her 30-year dream of completing the record-breaking swim.

“I stand here today so proud. I’m proud of my team and I’m very proud of myself, I am,” Nyad said Tuesday, beaming as she spoke to her teammates and reporters.

Nyad, 64, broke into frequent cheers and laughter as she talked about her journey from Marina Hemingway in Cuba to Smathers Beach in Key West, Fla., a 53-hour and 110-mile exploit that made her the first person in history to swim that route without a shark cage.