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A feat for the sake of peace with the Russians. Athlete from the United States heroically crossed the frozen ocean

Date: April 17, 2024 Time: 21:34:14

The Cold War kept not only American and Soviet citizens, but the rest of the world, in suspense for decades. It was only in the 1980s that countries began to conduct an open dialogue to end the mad arms race.

Lynn Cox has become a striking symbol of a new era in US-USSR relations. An athlete from the United States advocated for a peaceful solution to the conflict between the superpowers, and to bring her goal closer, she organized an incredible action. To “open the borders” between states, the girl… swam across the Bering Strait.

She literally had to be scooped out of the icy ocean in her hands!

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Swim for the friendship of peoples

Cox from the beginning of his sports career specialized in long distances. Already at the age of 14, the girl she managed to swim from Catalina Island to California, covering a distance of 43 km in the open sea. This achievement was followed by many others that forever inscribed her name in history: Lynn swam across the English Channel, setting a speed record, and then the Cook Strait and the Strait of Magellan.

However, the truly famous American was made for the swim she completed in 1987. Cox’s cherished dream for many years was to swim across the Bering Strait. Until now, no one has been able to get from the USA to the USSR!

The idea itself was extremely risky, but it also had political overtones. In order to enter a neighboring country, Lynn had to obtain the appropriate permission from the country, but she was unable to do so. The idea came to the American back in 1976, and since then she has tried in vain to get approval from the Soviet side, although there was nothing objectionable in her plan. Rather, Cox wanted to “open the borders” between states and “make friends” of the two peoples.


As a result, the desperate athlete did not wait for an answer from the USSR, and simply announced the swim. His decision influenced Mikhail Gorbachev, who was at the head of the country at the time. Considering that journalists from all over the world were supposed to accompany the girl during her adventure, the Soviet side could appear in an ugly light. Who will refuse to let a frozen girl go ashore and force her to swim back? One day before the start of the action, the Secretary General officially allowed Cox to cross the border.

“The fingers were gray like those of a corpse”

According to the plan, Cox was supposed to sail from the island of Small Diamid, which was part of Alaska, to the island of Big Diamid, which belonged to Soviet Chukotka. The distance between the westernmost point of one country and the easternmost point of the other was about 4,300 m, for Lynn it was a more than feasible distance: she alone traveled tens of kilometers.

There was a “but”: the temperature. On August 7th, it was only 3 degrees. The ocean was nearly frozen over, so the trip could have resulted in serious health problems for Lynn. In this case, the native Inuit were supposed to accompany the girl, but on the day of the swim, another obstacle arose in front of the team: a dense fog. In such weather conditions, the Indians could easily lose sight of the athlete, and she herself could go astray.


But, despite the poor visibility and the cold, Cox did not cancel his expedition:

“I was out of breath. I looked down: the fingers were gray, like those of a corpse. I started swimming with all my might, only occasionally looking at my shoulders to see if they turned blue, as this is life-threatening, Lynn recalled.

political gesture

Fortunately, the girl was still able to reach the finish line. In the last kilometer, the American, who was desperately fighting against the current, was already losing strength, and her escorts advised her not to stop on the island’s coast, but on the nearest cliff. However, for Cox, the meeting with the Russian border guards was a matter of principle, so he did not turn off the bath.

The Russian army literally had to pull the completely frozen athlete out of the water. On the island, Soviet sports stars met her, and local doctors rushed to warm the girl up.


It took Cox 2 hours and 6 minutes to overcome the distance, but the main result of the action was not at all sporting, but political. The next day, the newspapers presented her swim as the “fall of the Iron Curtain”, and a few months later Gorbachev toasted the swimmer during the signing of the historic treaty with the United States on the elimination of intermediate and shorter swims. range missiles. Subsequently, Ella Lynn will set another record on the territory of the USSR – she will be the first to cross Baikal in a year.


– We saw with what sincerity and friendship our peoples met when Lynn set foot on the Soviet coast. With her courage she demonstrated the closeness of our countries, ”said the last Soviet leader.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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