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Lynne Cox: Open Water Swimmer
The inspirational Lynne Cox is an open water swimmer from America who has written two books about her adventures in swimming around the globe. Her athletic feats and records broken are varied and numerous, including being among the first teens to cross the Catalina Island channel in California, the fastest English Channel crossing, the first person to swim the Strait of Magellan in Chile and Cape Point in Africa, and swimming more than one mile in Antarctica in an attempt that would kill most people.
In additiion to her swimming feats, Lynne has sought to be an ambassador for world peace and intercultural understanding. One of her best known accomplishments was swimming the Bering Strait from Alaska to the Soviet Union during the Cold War, which led to international attention and praise from both Ronald Regan and Mikhail Gorbachev. Read on for more about the inspirational swimmer and woman Lynne Cox!
Lynne Cox is an exceptional swimmer and woman, and the best cold water, long distance swimmer in the history of the world. Her athletic feats challenged the limits of the human body, and her continued work to inspire people to reach for their best makes her an inspiration in and out of the water. As a child, Lynne was not necessarily the best swimmer in her family - her parents moved to California so that her more accomplished siblings could receive better swim coaching. Lynne tagged along with them and was coached as well. When she expressed boredom at swimming back and forth in the pool, her coach Don Gambril urged her to try some open water swims off the coast of California. She took his advice and at the age of fourteen, with four other friends, she swam the 31-mile Catalina Channel in Southern California.
Bit by the bug of open water swimming, Lynne aspired to break more barriers. She was the first woman to swim the Cook Strait in New Zealand, between the north and south islands, the first person to swim Skagerrak, between Norway and Sweden, the first to swim the shark-infested waters around Cape of Good Hope, Africa, the first to swim the Strait of Magellan - -an area known as the most treacherous three mile stretch of water in the world - and the first person to swim Lake Titicaca (altitude: 12,500 feet) from Bolivia to Peru.
While in college at University of California Santa Barbara, Lynne studied history and became inspired to use her swims to bring people together. Her father gave her the idea of swimming across the Bering Straits, the area near the Diomede Islands where the United States and Russia met. In 1987, with water temperatures ranging from 38 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit, Lynne completed the swim in two hours and sixteen minutes, making one of the coldest swims every completed in history. More than just an athletic feat, her swim brought together the United States and Soviet Union and contributed towards the growing friendship between the countries. Presidents Reagan and Gorbachov toasted Lynne's swim saying that she "proved by her courage how closely to each other our peoples live". Her swim opened the boarder between the countries for the first time in forty-eight years, and allowed families who had been separated to see each other again for the first time in decades.
In 2002 Lynne became the first person to complete a 1.2 miles in Antarctica, from the ship the Orlova to Neko Harbor in a time of 25 minutes. Her book, Swimming To Antarctica, was based on her career up to that point. In August 2006 she swam across the Ohio River in Cincinnati from the Serpentine Wall to Newport, Kentucky to bring attention to plans to decrease the water quality standards for the Ohio River.
Unusual Body Frame = Unusual Feats!
How Lynne Cox's body gave her an advantage...
Lynne Cox might be considered unusual for a swimmer, as a 5 foot 6 inch, 180-pound frame is larger than average for most swimmers. But Lynne made this work in her favor. Her body density is precisely that of sea water and thus her 36% body fat (normal is 18% to 25%) gave her neutral buoyancy. Because of this, her energy could be used all for propulsion and not to keep afloat, allowing her to swim more efficiently and undoubtedly contributing to her successful career.
Lynne Cox Speaks About Swimming
Swimming To Antarctica by Lynne Cox
Lynne Cox's first book, Swimming To Antarctica, is an autobiography of her career as a long distance open water swimmer. She takes the reader from her childhood days in California all the way to her record-breaking and history-making swims in the English Channel, The Bering Strait, and Antarctica.
Grayson by Lynne Cox
Lynne Cox's second book recounts her encounter with a baby whale when she was just seventeen years old and swimming off the coast of California's Seal Beach. She helped guide the whale back to its mother, and the experience would change her life and further launch her inspirational swimming career.
Lynne Cox on the web
- Lynne Cox
The official website of Lynne Cox
Lynne Cox's Skin Care Routine
According to an article in the New York Times, Lynne Cox has developed a personal skin care routine to help minimize the effects of weather and swimming on her skin. Here are some of the products she is said to use.