07.08.

1987: Lynne Cox – the First Person to Swim from the USA to the USSR

1987: Lynne Cox – the First Person to Swim from the USA to the USSR
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/Silhouette of Catalina Island at sunset, as seen from the mainland

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 7 August 1987
  • It is interesting that Lynne Cox’s feat was lauded by both Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. The water temperature during her swim across the Bering Strait was only 6 or 7 degrees Celsius.

On this day in 1987 American swimmer Lynne Cox became the first person to swim from the USA to the USSR.

At the time she was 30 years old. Her swim lasted two hours and five minutes. She swam across the Bering Strait, from the U.S. island of Little Diomede to the Soviet island Big Diomede.

The border between the USA and USSR went precisely between those two islands (today the border between the USA and the Russian Federation is located at the same point).

Lynne Cox had previously performed many other swimming feats, including swimming across La Manche, the Strait of Magellan, and the Cook Strait (between New Zealand’s two largest islands).

The water temperature during her swim across the Bering Strait was only 6 or 7 degrees Celsius, despite the fact that it was summer.

It is interesting that Lynne Cox’s feat was lauded by both Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, and it served to help improve the relations between the superpowers during the Cold War. An asteroid was later named after Lynne Cox (37558 Lynnecox).

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