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Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer Paperback – March 7, 2005
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
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"This would make a great story even if Cox couldn't write. But she can . . . She's done things the rest of us only imagine-and she's written a book that helps us to imagine them with clarity and wonder." -THE BOSTON GLOBE
"What emerges here is an athlete whose determination is so fierce that it seems almost exotic. She is fit. She is focused. She is Lance Armstrong with body fat."-USA TODAY
"More than the story of the greatest open-water swimmer, Swimming to Antarctica is a portrait of rare and relentless drive . . . Cox's understated style makes for gripping reading."
From the Back Cover
Here is the joyful, inspirational memoir of swimmer Lynne Cox. By age sixteen, she had broken all records for English Channel swims, so she set her goals even higher: She became the first to swim the Strait of Magellan, narrowly escaped a shark attack off the Cape of Good Hope, and was cheered across the twenty-mile Cook Strait of New Zealand by dolphins. Her daring eventually led her to the thirty-eight-degree waters of the Bering Strait, which she crossed in her usual outfit -- just a swimsuit, cap, and goggles. She has even swum (LYNN - right verb??) a mile in the iceberg-choked waters of the Antarctic. With a poet's eye for detail, Cox shares the beauty of her time in the water in this new classic of sports memoir.
"[Cox has] done things the rest of us only imagine--and she's written a book that helps us to imagine them with clarity and wonder."-- The Boston Globe
"More than the story of the greatest open-water swimmer, Swimming to Antarctica is a portrait of rare and relentless drive. . . .Gripping." -- Sports Illustrated
"A tale of remarkable physical prowess and heart." -- Vogue
"Fetching and pitch-perfect . . . Full of perilous, preposterous-if-they-weren't-true scenes." - Outside Magazine
"An instant classic of adventure writing." -- Minneapolis Star-Tribune
"The only things more impressive than her heroics are her magnanimous spirit and ability to bring people together." -- Miami Herald
"Even a cursory read leaves one shivering for a warm towel." -- Entertainment Weekly
"A triumph of a positive outlook, hefty preparation, and raw courage." -- The Economist
"So compelling and immediate that even a non-swimmer can almost feel as if he'd been a participant." -- Philadelphia Inquirer
LYNNE COX has set records all over the world for open-water swimming. She was named Los Angeles Times Woman of the Year, inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2000, and honored with a lifetime achievement award from the University of California--Santa Barbara. She lives in Los Alamitos, California.
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In addition, the accounts of different locations in which Lynne Cox has traveled is completely fascinating. I've become a little obsessed with different bodies of water and what swimming in them is like, and "Swimming to Antarctica" REALLY offers a great variety of accounts of different areas around the globe and how vastly different water can be in one location compared to the next.
This is a must-read for all those who love to swim, or those who want to understand why it is that some of us are so obsessed with distance swimming. HIGHLY recommended.
This book doesn't require a lengthy explanation for why it is a certifiably enjoyable read: extraordinary physical prowess combines with even more extraordinary strength of will in the person of Lynne Cox, and the results are legendary. Cox's writing skills are not extraordinary, but her down home writing voice combines with a choice of life goals to create a tale in which the sum is far greater than the parts.
You might expect, in a book written by a world class athlete, to hear some eye-popping stories of achievment, and your expectations will be met. What you might NOT expect is that Lynne Cox's unassuming, almost humble, telling of her story will have a lingering affect on you (and me) the reader. Cox's endurance in the water is matched by her endurance in going after a goal, and her persistence in getting permission to do certain feats (swimming the Bering Strait) is almost as astounding as her actual swims. Her never-say-die attitude both in and out of the water has on multiple occasions led me to lace up my running shoes on cold and gray days, or led me to go a few steps further in pursuing a non-athletic goal than I previously would have.
There are many other fabulous tales of athletic achievement out there, from Lance Armstrong's It's Not About the Bike, to the more recently popular Man on Wire (about the gentleman who illegally strung a wire between the Twin Towers, and walked back and forth along it several times). The pleasant steady character of Lynne Cox's biography outpaces both of these books in terms of changing the way we each view our own personal challenges.
If you're a swimmer, this is a must read. If you're not the type that likes to get wet, you'll still find yourself immersed in, charmed by, and changed by Lynne Cox's wonderful story.
Some parts were repetitive, but I loved hearing about her ambitions and goals, especially during the Cold War.
Didn't find it as well written as some cycling/running memoirs though (The Secret Race, Born to Run, etc)