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Greatest Sports Feats of the Century Dan Blaine DBLIVIT blaine@eucom.mil This post will probably bring forth a myriad of opinions! Here's my top two greatest sports feats for this century:





1. Open Water Swimming: The Bering Strait


Lynne Cox: "The Bering Strait - that’s pretty amazing," says USS open water coordinator and marathon pro Karen Burton. Cox, conqueror of "half the known straits in the civilized world," has a litany of unbelievable swims. As a former holder of records for fastest crossings of both the Catalina and English Channels, she has the respect of the plebes and the pros. She’s made a life of finding swims and doing them in the name of international relations and cold water research. Her Beagle Channel crossing brought the Argentine and Chilean navies together for the first time in 30 years, and Gorbachev and Reagan toasted her Bering Strait feat at the White House. Though she’ll tell you that sometimes the swim itself is not the challenge, Bering Strait was 11 years in the making. Her splash across the international dateline, just 66 degrees north latitude, was between four and six miles, taking two hours and seven minutes. She started in 44 degrees water and finished in 38. "It was so cold, you had to be there in the moment," she says. No cruise control here. Focus.



Cox has some other extraordinary swims, including a ten miler around the Cape of Good Hope. "Psychologically, it’s hard to enter the water where there are sharks" without a cage and through 20-foot seas. Or the Cook Strait in New Zealand, a 12:02, 20-mile journey (11 if you can go straight) through eight-foot waves, 45-knot winds created by a storm in Antarctica and a hurricane to the north.



2. The 1956 Olympics:



Emil Zatopek won the gold in the 5000, 10000 AND the marathon. Which one of today's "specialists" could ever match that?







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