No, as best as we can determine, endurance swimmer Diana Nyad is not a Jew and does not practice any religion. She professes to be an atheist. Diana discussed her atheism with Oprah (10/2013), "Oprah tells atheist swimmer Diana Nyad that atheists don’t believe in ‘awe’ and ‘wonder’".
She is one tough and determined woman. And she is an inspiration to us all to persevere. Even after having to abandon her goal to swim in open waters 103 miles from Cuba to Key West Florida several times, first more than thirty years ago, she returned to the water to try again. Her blog is here.
She finally did it 9/2/2013! "Diana Nyad completes Cuba-Florida swim." We identify so strongly with Dina Nyad because we swim over 400 miles a year. True, we don't swim 103 mile open water courses from Cuba to Florida all at once. We swim in a pool, one mile and a half a day. It took us all summer to swim 103 miles (and we did that! including one harrowing mile in the Hudson River!)
Diana claimed at age 62 to be in the best shape of her life. What an inspiration. And we mean this personally. Diana set a goal years ago and could not reach it. She tried again in 2011 and 2012 and had to stop. But that did not deter her from her determination to try once again.
She did it in 2013 at age 64 and the message she sends to us is loud and clear and utterly simple. If you have a goal that is worthy, keep at it. There is no shame in failure. Get up. Try to meet your challenge again.
God bless you Diana for your example of grit and determination. Godspeed to you. Swim on.
(Hat tip to Yitz who found out about the swim in Israel.)