Diana Nyad’s record-breaking day possesses a unique numerical property

By The Beacon | September 5, 2013 12:56am

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By Aziz S. Inan, Ph.D. |

On Monday, September 2, 2013 (9-02-2013 or simply, 9022013), the 64-year-old American long distance swimmer Diana Nyad (born in New York City on August 22, 1949) became the first person to swim more than 100 miles across the Florida Straits. Nyad swam from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida, without a shark cage, succeeding on her fifth attempt at the feat. Her face sunburned and lips swollen, with barely enough energy to speak, Nyad waded ashore at Key West after a 53-hour swim and delivered three simple, powerful messages to onlookers: “One is, we should never, ever give up…Two is, you never are too old to chase your dreams…Three is, it looks like a solitary sport, but it’s a team.”

I became so inspired by Nyad’s perseverance and determination that I immediately wanted to do something for her to express my gratitude and appreciation of her achievement. So I decided to investigate yesterday’s date, 9022013, with the hope that I may stumble onto something numerically unique about Nyad’s record-breaking day. After some research, I am happy to inform you that 9022013 is indeed a very unique calendar date! How? I will explain.

Nyad completed the swim on Sep. 2, which can be expressed as 902. It turns out 902 and 2013 (which side-by-side constitute 9022013) have a simple “hidden” numerical connection: Date number 902 plus its reverse, 209, yields the special rep-unit number 1111 and 902 plus 1111 results in 2013! Amazing! Interestingly enough, the 21st century has a total of 12 dates with such numerical property and 9022013 happen to be the first one. After 9022013, the next such date will occur on 8042016 (August 4, 2016) since 804 plus 408 equals 1212 and 1212 plus 804 yields 2016. The following table lists all of the twelve such dates in this century.

September 2, 2013 9022013
August 4, 2016 8042016
July 6, 2019 7062019
June 8, 2022 6082022
September 12, 2043 9122043
August 14, 2046 8142046
July 16, 2049 7162049
June 18, 2052 6182052
September 22, 2073 9222073
August 24, 2076 8242076
July 26, 2079 7262079
June 28, 2082 6282082

On these dates in the 21st century, the first three digits of the date can be added to their reverse to get a four-digit number, which can then be added to the first three digits to equal the year

In addition, if 9022013 is split as 9, 02, 20, and 13, these four numbers add up to 44, which coincidentally equals the sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of Diana’s last name, “Nyad,” based on the English alphabet, where letter A is assigned 1, B is 2, C is 3, etc.

Thanks for never giving up on your dream, Diana Nyad, and I salute you for your perseverance!

Aziz S. Inan, Ph.D., is an Electrical Engineering professor. He can be reached at ainan@up.edu.

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