Diana Nyad on Dancing With the Stars: Will Swimming With Sharks Prepare Her for the Dance Floor?

The swimmer will compete on season 18 of Dancing With the Stars

By Chris Harnick Mar 04, 2014 2:30 PMTags
Diana NyadJohn M. Heller/Getty Images

Diana Nyad is Dancing With the Stars-bound! Did swimming with sharks prepare her for the cutthroat competition for the mirror ball trophy that awaits?

Nyad, a world-record holding swimmer, will dance with Henry Byalikov in season 18 of DWTS. In 2013, at the age of 64, Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the aid of shark cage. She swam from Havana to Key West, a total of 110 miles. It was her fifth attempt.

A writer by trade, Nyad has written three books, penned stories for The New York Times and contributed regularly to NPR's All Things Considered. The new Dancing With the Stars contestant is set to write a memoir with a 2015 release date eyed.

In addition to her swim from Cuba to Florida, Nyad participated in "Swim for Relief," a 48-hour continuous swim set up in New York City. She raised more than $100,000 for AmeriCares to go toward victims of Hurricane Sandy. Nyad recently took home the ESPN Sports Science Newton Award for Outstanding New Limit.

Nyad's partner, Henry Byalikov, is a veteran of Australia's So You Think You Can Dance, Strictly Dancing and Dancing With the Stars. He was also featured in The Great Gatsby as a dancer.

Other season 18 competitors include: Meryl Davis, Charlie White, Billy Dee Williams, Candace Cameron Bure, Cody Simpson, Danica McKellar, Drew Carey, James Maslow, NeNe Leakes and Sean Avery.