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Peter Kramer / NBC

TODAY   |  October 07, 2013

Diana Nyad gets back in the water for 48-hour challenge

Just five weeks after her record swim from Havana to Key West, 64-year-old Diana Nyad prepares for her next challenge: 48 straight hours in a manmade pool in New York City, to support Hurricane Sandy victims. Ryan Lochte and Richard Simmons will share the pool with Nyad, joining the list of guest swimmers at the benefit.

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

>>> all right, sir. diana nyack is proof you shou -- nyad is pr oof you should never give up on your dreams. swam from cuba to florida without a shark cage . something she first tried at 28. this was her fifth attempt.

>> now she's diving right back into the fast lane getting ready to swim for 48 straight hours.

>> a maniac.

>> right here where she was born in new york city .

>> we're so happy you're here, diana , and so proud of you.

>> it's a pleasure, thank you, thank you.

>> what you accomplished would be amazing for a 25-year-old and to do it at 68 --

>> 64.

>> all right. you'll do it again when you're 68.

>> when i finished, i looked about 100 when i finished. people were like, wow. i guess she can do anything.

>> we did suggest a facial afterwards. what was going on? stings, bites?

>> mostly saltwater immersion and, also, that look, what was going on? also, i wore that jellyfish mask. the only thing we could think of to get through the deadly jellyfish and a retainer like kids waear at night, and that, for 13 hours, just rubbed. the inside of the mouth was a mess, and i guess --

>> what was --

>> i was related. singing.

>> i just don't understand how you can do something like that.

>> what's it like when you got to shore and people were cheering? it must have been such a moment for you.

>> you know what, hoda? dear heart, because you know and you live it and you are it, but celebrity as a general role, if you played a role or people have an image of you, they want to be close by, but when you've done something that means something to them, those people were crying, and i could see even through my daze, i could feel the emotion. the authentic message that i lived out loud is that you never, ever give up. you find a way to whatever your other shore is. you're dealing with cancer, you're dealing with divorce. you find a way, and you live a good life, and that's what i saw on that beach with those people. that's what i saw.

>> how long has it been for you to heal up?

>> until today.

>> and now, why, swimming for the two days? other people would go back to havana and have a nice vacation, smoke a cigar. but, no. not you.

>> you're back in the pool.

>> you new yorkers, you're here. i'm a new yorker. and this sandy hit a year ago. how many thousands of people are still homeless? but have we forgotten them? that's in the back pages. who cares about hurricane sandy? we're on to the new news. i don't want to forget them. i don't want to forget any people who have been through disaster.

>> you're spending 48 hours in a pool?

>> getting constructed in herald square . i'm going 48 hours . all the people, who are -- the procter & gamble people, duracel batteries that honestly go up and show up with the batteries, they paid for the entire thing. everybody who gives a dollar, you go e to the nyad swim for relief dotcom. everybody who gives one dollar, they get 100% goes to the sandy victims. none goes to this event. i feel very proud of that.

>> you have a bunch of celebs?

>> roscoe, quick.

>> roscoe is a dog that survived hurricane sandy. he's coming to lay next to me, not to mention, ryan lochte and richard simmons .

>> richard simmons ? we've got to see that!

>> i'm going to give you some money, honey.

>> one thing you did promise, diana , we were going to give you a facial when you got back. so we got one.

>> you know what i'm going to need. you know what i'm going to need. you are --

>> here you go. we love you.

>> you are a big hero to us.