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Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Trending: Diana Nyad celebrates birthday

By Bill Speros
Special to ESPN.com

Diana Nyad celebrates her 63rd birthday today -- with "no regrets" following her fourth failed attempted swim across the Straits of Florida.

Went down to the beach to watch Diana Nyad swim the last 200 yds to shore.Crowd sang "Happy Birthday." She's 63 tom'w twitter.com/markchildress/…

— Mark Childress (@markchildress) August 21, 2012


Perhaps her biggest wish this year: "No more jellyfish."

Next time your swimming workout seems too daunting, look at these pictures of jellyfish-stung Diana Nyad...diananyad.com/blog/Extreme-D…

— Mike Gustafson (@mikelgustafson) August 21, 2012


Nyad's latest effort from Cuba to Key West ended early Tuesday after more than 41 hours of swim time when the legendary endurance swimmer was pulled from the water following multiple jellyfish stings and the threat of more bad weather. Nyad, who covered more distance before ending her "Xtreme Dream" swim in 2012 than she did during her first Cuba-Florida attempt in 1978, finished with a 200-yard swim to the shore in Key West.

In appearances on "Good Morning America" and "The Today Show," Nyad said she was able to overcome several obstacles during her swim -- including "hellacious" thunderstorms, the Gulf Stream current, weather, sharks, exhaustion and hypothermia.

"I'd go to my grave still trying. It's not about all that stuff," she told "The Today Show." "It's about the jellyfish. And I just don't know what to do. I did the most intelligent moves I could...wore pantyhose over my face and was still stung so badly on the lips I went into the heart and lungs being taken down and shivers all over. I had nine stings the first night."

"I can't look back with any regrets." -@diananyad

— TODAY(@todayshow) August 22, 2012


She echoed similar sentiments on GMA:

"In the end it's always about the journey... the journey was thrilling," Diana Nyad tells @robinroberts

— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 22, 2012


One of the highlights of this journey -- many of which were captured on Nyad's blog and this photo gallery -- was a video posted on YouTube featuring a pod of companions that joined her:

We've been so worried about sharks and jellyfish, but we've been given DOLPHINS! #Xtremedream #teamdiana ow.ly/d6M4G ^MR

— Diana Nyad (@diananyad) August 21, 2012


There was worldwide concern and support during her team effort:

@diananyad Please,for a while, eat delicious one and rest.I am always moved by your challenge / from Japanese amateur open-water swimmer

— White_Water (@White_Water1) August 22, 2012


And while there was some agony in defeat, she still earned praise across Twitter:

So proud of @diananyad, what uv done is incredible...63 hrs is amazing!Know ur bummed u didn't make it but still an incred feat!

— Dara Torres (@DaraTorres) August 21, 2012

@diananyad you rock! I hope you celebrate like crazy you deserve it! You are nothin but will and perseverance in a layer of skin!

— Julie Fisher (@brilliantbodies) August 21, 2012
If you see any offbeat links from your favorite sports site or catchy tweets that might be of interest to others, pass them along to me @billsperos or bsperos1@gmail.com.