It has been many years since an American president has congratulated an open water swimmer.

President Reagan, himself a former swimmer and lifeguard, was extremely complimentary to Lynne Cox after her swim between Russia and Alaska in 1987. And President Obama, a decent body surfer who is comfortable in the ocean due to his upbringing in Hawaii, was one of the first to tweet about the recent swim from Cuba to Florida on Twitter to Diana Nyad:

Congratulations to Diana Nyad. Never give up on your dreams.”

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