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Profile: Bering Strait Relay Swim

Bering Strait Relay swimmers from around the world pose for a photo in front of the "Welcome to Nome" gold pan. James Peters stands with the white cane.

Bering Strait Relay swimmers from around the world pose for a photo with Nome Mayor Denise Michaels (in purple) at Anvil City Square. James Peters, a blind Australian swimmer, is with the white cane.

Last Saturday, 62 people completed the first recorded relay swim across the Bering Strait – 53 miles in 41 degree waters – without wetsuits. The Bering Strait Swim Relay, organized by the International Ice Swimming Association, the Russian Book of Records, and other European partners, commemorated the 25th anniversary of the friendship flight from Alaska to Providenyia, Russia.

The 62 swimmers came from 16 countries and six different continents. They are doctors, journalists, parents who train in their free-time to compete in cold-water swim events. On Monday, August 12, those with visas came into Nome for an impromptu ceremony.

KNOM’s Eva DeLappe spoke with one of the athletes – James Peters, a 43-year-old Australian swimmer who is legally blind. Listen below: