Endurance Swimmer Raises $103,001 For People Struggling Year After Storm

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad ended her 48-hour swim benefiting Superstorm Sandy victims.

“It honestly was tougher than I ever imagined it to be,” the 64-year-old Nyad said as she emerged from the pool at 8:48 a.m. Thursday. “I thought compared to these long, ultra-swims in the ocean this would be somewhat easy and it was a bear.”

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PHOTOS: Diana Nyad’s 48-Hour Swim

Her words were drowned out by whooping, claps and cheers from spectators who gathered at the 40-yard pool set up in Herald Square.

Edith Windsor, the 84-year-old widow who challenged the federal Defense of Marriage Act after she was forced to pay $363,000 on the estate of her late wife, was among the spectators. She called the event “thrilling, just thrilling.’

Nyad started the marathon swim Tuesday morning. Her effort raised $103,001 for people still struggling a year after Sandy.

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The funds will be given to AmeriCares, a non-profit global health and disaster relief organization.

PHOTOS: Diana Nyad’s Historic Swim

Last month, the New York native became the first person confirmed to have swum from Havana to Key West, Fla., without a shark cage.

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