Oprah Winfrey apparently has a segment on her network’s program Super Soul Sunday called Soul to Soul. In one episode she talks with swimmer Diana Nyad. It was an interesting conversation in that Nyad flatly says she is an atheist but uses the words god, soul, and spirit to describe various emotional states relating to the awe that she feels about the wonders of the world.
Oprah seems to be happy with this, saying that having this sense of awe means that she does not consider Nyad to be an atheist, which suggests that she does not mind that Nyad is coopting words that normally have specific religious meanings to denote purely secular phenomena. I do not know if Nyad does this deliberately to deflect criticism about her atheism but if so, it worked with Winfrey.
Whatever, this is yet another case of a well-known person letting it be known that she is an atheist. You can see the exchange here.