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Swimming icon Diana Nyad to compete on ABC's Dancing With the Stars

One of the few LGBTI celebrity contestants to take part over 18 seasons
Photo: Diana Nyad via Twitter

Diana Nyad is trading in her swimsuit for a ball gown.

The champion swimmer, who inspired many when she completed her historic swim from Cuba to Florida last summer, was introduced Tuesday (4 March) as one of the celebrity contestants on ABC's Dancing With the Stars.

The show begins its 18th season - there are two seasons each year - on 17 March.

It was the age of 64 and on her fifth attempt that Nyad swam 103 miles in 53 hours from Cuba to Florida.

She did so without a shark cage, flippers or a wetsuit which had never been done before.

Nyad, who is a lesbian, is one of the few LGBTI celebrity contestants to compete on the show.

Lance Bass was the first openly gay contestant back in 2008 while transgender male Chaz Bono competed in 2011.

Nyad will be paired with professional Australian dancer Henry Byalikov.

Other celebrity contestants for the upcoming season are: Meryl Davis, Charlie White, Billy Dee Williams, Candace Cameron Bure, Cody Simpson, Danica McKellar, Drew Carey, James Maslow, NeNe Leakes and Sean Avery.

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