On This Day - August 7th

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Lynne Cox, born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1957, is an American long-distance open-water swimmer, writer and speaker. She is best known for being the first person to swim between the United States and the Soviet Union, in the Bering Strait. A feat she completed on 7th August 1987.

Cox is perhaps best known for swimming 2 hour 5 minutes in the Bering Strait on 7th August 1987, from the island of Little Diomede in Alaska to Big Diomede, then part of the Soviet Union, where the water temperature averaged around 6 to 7 °C.

At the time people living on the Diomede Islands, only were not permitted to travel between them, although the Eskimo communities there had been closely linked until the natives of Big Diomede were moved to the Russian mainland after World War II.

Her accomplishment a few years before the end of the Cold War earned praise from both US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

At the signing of the INF Missile Treaty at the White House, Gorbachev made a toast. He and President Reagan lifted their glasses and Gorbachev said: "Last summer it took one brave American by the name of Lynne Cox just two hours to swim from one of our countries to the other. We saw on television how sincere and friendly the meeting was between our people and the Americans when she stepped onto the Soviet shore. She proved by her courage how close to each other our peoples live".

What distance did Lynne have to cover to succeed in her historic swim?

Find out here...

The swim between Little Diomede and Big Diomede, despite being incredible challenging due to the water conditions, was just 2.3 miles.

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