2018 World T.E.A.M. Annual Review 2018 World T.E.A.M. Annual Review | Page 27
Diana Nyad is the first endurance
athlete to swim the 110.86 miles from
Cuba to Florida’s Key West in 2013, a
remarkable feat that she completed in
52 hours and 54 minutes. The following
year, in consultation with her expedition
leader Bonnie Stoll, they had a vision of
humanity covering the curvature of the
planet on their own power. Their vision
of turning sedentary Americans into
a nation of fervent walkers led to the
creation of the EverWalk program.
In 2016, the inaugural Epic Walk
spanned 134 miles over seven days on
a route through southern California’s
coastal beach communities and cities,
from Los Angeles to San Diego. The
following year, walkers traveled
along the idyllic, lighthouse-lined
New England coast, from Boston to
Maine’s Cape Elizabeth. In August
2018, a 134-mile route through the
evergreens of the Pacific Northwest
from the Canadian border along the
Puget Sound to Seattle was the most
successful yet. For many participants
of the Epic Walk, crossing the ending
Achieve Line after seven consecutive
days of walking 16 to 22 miles brought
tears of joy at their accomplishment.
TEAM > INDIVIDUAL
An alumnus of World T.E.A.M.’s
1998 Vietnam Challenge and a past
director, in 2017, Diana contacted the
organization with a suggestion to join
forces. Becoming a part of World T.E.A.M.
and its inclusive sports programs,
EverWalk’s connection brought together
two teams with a common goal of
creating exceptional athletic programs
that empower athletes and expand
understanding and teamwork.
EverWalk’s Ambassador program helps
expand its reach to athletes across
America. 24 local Ambassadors lead
EverWalks the first Saturday of each
month. Walks from St. Louis to Naples,
Florida, to South Orange, New Jersey,
to Lafayette, Colorado, and beyond
build a greater national community.
In April 2018, EverWalk launched its
first annual Service Walk. Participants
gratefully walked with Diana in
the Florida Keys, where she spent
four years training at Key West for
her incomparable swim from Cuba.
Participants began each day with an
early morning ten-mile walk. Walks
included an opportunity to swim
alongside Diana at Smathers Beach on
the south side of Key West. This beach
was the ultimate point of triumph for
Diana, as it is where she came ashore
following her successful crossing from
Cuba. In the afternoons, the Service
Walk team assisted Habitat for Humanity
in Big Pine Key rebuilding homes
devastated in 2017’s Hurricane Irma.
This was a rewarding experience for all.
EverWalk continues to build a growing
national walking community. Online, the
latest in walking research is available
for review, and walkers are invited to
log their personal miles. EverWalk’s
leadership is currently developing
incentives for miles logged.
Joining together with World T.E.A.M.
was an easy decision for Diana.
“I have long been a monster fan,” said
Diana. “Some of the grand adventures
of my life came via World T.E.A.M.,
including our ride of the length of the
Ho Chi Minh Trail in Vietnam, with 100
American and Viet Cong vets. Bonnie
and I, and all of us here at EverWalk,
burst with pride to associate ourselves
with the inspiring work done at World
T.E.A.M. As we say: ONWARD!”