Three large screens set up alongside the pool displayed a variety of Procter & Gamble- and AmeriCares-sponsored commercials related to their efforts in Hurricane Sandy relief.
Photo: Insider Images
NEW YORK Building on her strength and fame as a long-distance swimmer, Diana Nyad launched AmeriCares's monthlong fund-raiser in New York by doing what she does best: swimming. But rather than hitting the Hudson or East Rivers, the athlete brought her marathon promotion to raise funds for Hurricane Sandy disaster relief to Herald Square. To pull off the stunt, which ran October 8 to 10, the producers constructed a 40-yard pool capable of holding 42,000 gallons of water and withstanding movement for 48 hours straight—all in one of Manhattan's busiest intersections.
Stuart Weissman Productions tapped Olympic pool design company Myrtha to fashion a two-lane pool that could fit in a compact event space and worked with the city to move the structure from Myrtha's factory in Italy to New York. It took 15 technicians five days to set it up on site and water was taken from a nearby fire hydrant to fill the pool. And faced with the chilly weather, the team used a heavy-duty boiler to bring the temperature of the water to 88 degrees in nine hours.
Onlookers swaddled in towels watched Nyad from the 200-seat bleachers that surrounded the elevated pool. Organizers also set up 22-foot plasma screens that displayed live video, social media feeds, and a timer. A live feed of the swim was also broadcast on Nyad's online homepage as well as sponsor sites.
The event raised $100,000, and Nyad plans to continue doing charity work with her portable pool in tow.