Diana Nyad, who recently became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage, says the swim was about “Who I want to be.”

The openly gay Nyad swam for nearly 54 hours and 110 miles to reach the Florida coast, where she was greeted by dozens of supporters and American and Gay Pride flags.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey to be broadcast Sunday, October 6 on OWN, Nyad told Winfrey why she pursued the goal.

“So I started thinking, my mom died at 82,” Nyad told Winfrey. “Does that mean really I have 22 years left and maybe those last 2 or 3 or 4 aren't going to be too vital, I don't know. But the clock is like choking me now. And it wasn't so much what did I want to do, it was who I want to be.”

“At 60, I needed to say, 'Forget about the ledger.' Are you in the halls of fame, did you make some kind of money to – I don't care about that anymore. As you know those things as you get older, who cares. It's am I living the life that I can admire. Am I going to leave this Earth maybe, as you do, leaving it a place where its a little more just than it was. And human rights have been fulfilled more than – those are my values. And never giving up.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)