At the age of 64, long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad made history today by becoming the first person to swim the 110 miles from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage.
The lesbian athlete completed the treacherous journey on her fifth attempt. She officially spent 52 hours, 54 minutes, and 18.6 seconds swimming, according to her Twitter account.
Congratulati0ns quickly flooded Nyad's Twitter page including a message from President Barack Obama's account which stated: 'Congratulations to @DianaNyad. Never give up on your dreams.'
The Florida Straits had previously been been conquered by Australian Susie Maroney in 2007 but Maroney used a protective cage during her journey.
In her 1978 autobiography Nyad described marathon swimming as a battle for survival against a brutal foe - the sea - and the only victory possible is to 'touch the other shore.'
Her previous feats include swimming around the island of Manhattan in 1975 and a from the Bahamas to Florida in 1979.
She was greeted today on the shore of Key West by a crowd of cheering fans.
According to her Twitter feed, Nyad knew she was about to finally complete her journey when she was about two miles from shore and told her handlers: 'This is a lifelong dream of mine and I'm very very glad to be with you. So let's get going so we can have a whopping party.'