(born 1957) is an American long-distance
open-water swimmer and writer. In 1971, she and her teammates were the first
group of teenagers to complete the crossing of the Catalina
Island Channel in California.
She was always the slowest swimmer in her
swim classes. She has twice held the record for the fastest
crossing (men or women) of the English Channel (1972 in a time of 9h 57 mins and 1973 in a time of
9h 36 mins). In 1975, Cox became the first woman to swim
the 10 °C (50 °F), 16 km (10 mi) Cook Strait in New
Zealand. In 1976, she was the first person to swim the
Magellan in Chile, and the
first to swim around the Cape Point in South
perhaps best known for swimming the Bering Strait from the island of Little Diomede in Alaska to Big Diomede, then part of the Soviet Union, where the water temperature averaged around
4 °C (40 °F). At the time people living on the Diomede
Islands -- only 3.7 km (2.3 miles) apart -- were not
permitted to see one another, although many had family members
living on the other island.
Her accomplishment eased
tensions as Ronald Reagan
and Mikhail Gorbachev
both praised her
her accomplishments was swimming more than a mile (1.6 km) in
the waters of Antarctica.
would afflict most humans within
five minutes , Cox was in the water for 25 minutes, swimming 1.06
miles (1.7 km). Her book about the experience, Swimming to
, was published in 2004.
Her second book, Grayson
, details her encounter with a
lost baby gray whale
during an early
morning workout off the coast of California. It was published in
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.
The asteroid 37588 Lynnecox
was named in her honor.
- Swimming to Antarctica, Alfred A. Knopf, 2004 ISBN
- Grayson, Alfred A. Knopf, 2006 ISBN