US endurance swimmer Diana Nyad given Order of Sporting Merit medal by Cuba

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HAVANA — One year after becoming the first person confirmed to have swum from Havana to Key West, Florida without a shark cage, U.S. endurance swimmer Diana Nyad was back in Cuba to receive that country's Order of Sporting Merit award.

After a ceremony led by First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Saturday, Nyad said she dreams of uniting Cubans and Americans to walk with her the length of the island of Cuba "as good neighbors and friends."

Diaz-Canel called Nyad's feat "a symbol of the friendship between our peoples," referring to the United States and Cuba.

Nyad attempted the swim from Cuba to Florida four times before finally completing the journey on her fifth attempt one year ago, making her the first to make it without a shark cage.

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