With the seeds planted by American Lynne Cox, a team of hardened swimmers expanded upon her 1987 swim from Little Diomede to Big Diomede. Many of the world’s best ice swimmers from 16 countries realized years of planning in swimming from Russia to the U.S.A. It was the history’s most dangerous swim with large ocean swells, heavy fog, stiff winds, relentless whitecaps, currents, and water temperatures under 5ºC (41ºF). Escorted by a large ship, everything about the Bering Strait Swim was oversized. Doubts and fears were packed away and replaced by optimism and energy.