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Florida Strait ahead for swimmer Nyad

Diana Nyad greets her support team before her swim to Florida from Havana, Cuba, on Saturday. (Associated Press)
Diana Nyad greets her support team before her swim to Florida from Havana, Cuba, on Saturday. (Associated Press)

The Florida Strait, a dangerous stretch of sea full of sharks and jellyfish that is prone to sudden, violent storms, has stubbornly resisted Diana Nyad’s repeated attempts to conquer it.

Yet the Florida-raised endurance athlete was back in the water again Saturday, launching her fourth bid in three years to become the first person to swim from Cuba to the Florida Keys without a protective shark cage.

“I admit there’s an ego rush,” Nyad said. “If I – three days from now, four days from now – am still somehow bringing the arms up and I see the shore … I am going to have a feeling that no one yet on this planet has ever had.”

She expects to take about 80 hours to arrive somewhere between Key West and Marathon, more than 110 miles from Havana.

Nyad, who recently turned 64, tried three times in 2011 and 2012. Her last attempt was cut short amid boat trouble, storms, unfavorable currents and box jellyfish stings that left her face puffy and swollen. She said this will be her final try.

NBA star Odom accused of DUI

Basketball star Lamar Odom was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence early Friday after a California Highway Patrol officer saw his white Mercedes-Benz traveling erratically on a San Fernando Valley Freeway. The husband of reality TV star Khloe Kardashian was stopped shortly before 4 a.m. and was arrested after a field sobriety test.

Odom, 33, was booked without incident, spent about three hours in jail and was released after posting $14,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in Van Nuys Municipal Court on Sept. 27.

Odom’s arrest was the latest in a series of grim developments that could endanger the veteran free agent’s hopes of returning to the NBA. He was already coming off the worst two seasons of his career

The incident came after nearly a week of concerned tweets from former teammates and coaches regarding reports from gossip websites about alleged drug use and problems with his marriage.

The birthday bunch

Conductor Seiji Ozawa is 78. Comedian-actress Lily Tomlin is 74. Singer Archie Bell is 69. Singer Barry Gibb is 67. Talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw is 63. Singer Gloria Estefan is 56. Singer-musician Grant Lee Phillips (“Gilmore Girls”) is 50.


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