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Bering Strait

US endurance swimmer Lynne Cox swam the frigid waters of the Bering Strait into warm Soviet embrace

It was the shortest slog in endurance swimmer Lynne Cox’s 16-year career, at just 3.75km, but her arrival on bleak, inhospitable Big Diomede Island 30 years ago won global acclaim.

With every stroke across the chill waters of Bering Strait on August 7, 1987, Cox helped thaw the US-Soviet Cold War.

Her two-hour crossing from US Little Diomede Island to Soviet Big Diomede had been in planning for 11 years, and even as she ploughed through fog in 6C degree waters, Cox was not sure she would be permitted to step onto Soviet territory.