TODAY

TODAY   |  September 11, 2013

Nyad defends swim: ‘Don’t I deserve a little luck?’

After a three and a half hour conference call with fellow marathon swimmers, Diana Nyad vigorously defended her historic swim from Cuba to the Florida Keys against critics who suggest she could have cheated. NBC’s Mark Potter reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> we have a new interview with diana nyad as he takes on skeptics for raising questions about her swim from cuba to florida. mark, good morning to you.

>> good morning, matt. after answering questions from fellow swimmers in a 3 1/2 hour conference call , she spoke publicly about her record swim and vigorously defended it.

>> reporter: during an interview with nbc news, diana nyad said categorically that her swim was done honorably with no cheating whatsoever.

>> i did the swim with my own body and my own mind fair and square. squeaky clean.

>> reporter: she also denied any suggestion she might have clung to or climbed aboard a boat to rest during her grilling voyage.

>> i was in the open sea the whole time.

>> reporter: reports that she went hours without feeding during the swim were incorrect and the reason she wore a mask and protective suit part of the time was to protect against jelly fish and said her swimming speed increased during the middle of the voyage after she was picked up by fast moving currents.

>> don't i deserve a little luck after i've had so much bad luck ? i had at least the persistence to keep trying until finally we got luck on our side.

>> reporter: she is not surprised questions are being raised about the details of her swim given it's historic nature.

>> when you set a huge world record like this. you have to vet it. you have to ask every question. you have to put the swimmer under a microscope.

>> but now that questions are being answered, she hopes people can focus on her success, an inspirational message.

>> live your life in a bold, fierce way and don't give up and you'll never have to look back for regrets and you might even make your dreams come true.

>> now, one of the par gattis participants says there's still data to be collected. nyad said she is transparent and all the notes will be made public. back to you.

>> did you say a 3 1/2 hour conference call ? how many questions did they have.

>> diana nyad said it went on and on and on. one of the people on the boat, her navigator said he had so many questions it's insane. more to come.

>> she thought the swim was long.