Diana Nyad stumbled out of the surf at Smathers Beach in Key West, Florida, on Monday, having completed an incredible 177-kilometre swim.
She had begun the swim 53 hours earlier, in Cuba.
Nyad is the only person ever to have made the treacherous swim without using a shark net, swim fins or a wetsuit. It was her fifth try in 35 years.
She told the waiting and excited crowd that she had three things to say.
“One is we should never, ever give up. Two is you never are too old to chase your dreams. Three is it looks like a solitary sport but it takes a team.”