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Big swim undergoes sea change

It’s like running five miles and claiming you just completed a marathon.

Better yet, winning the world’s hardest marathon, whichever one that is.

Jennifer Figge, a 56-year-old from Aspen, Colo., insists she is the first woman to swim across the Atlantic Ocean.

She swam parts of the Atlantic. The entire ocean? Not quite. Not close.

In covering the roughly 2,500 miles from the Cape Verde Islands near Africa to Trinidad, Figge would have needed to swim more than 100 miles per day over 24 days.

She admitted to taking five days off because of rough seas, and some days she didn’t spend even eight hours in the water. Her manager, David Higden, told The Associated Press that he estimates she swam about 250 miles.

Impressive. Just not Atlantic Ocean impressive.

"Nobody could swim across the Atlantic," Higden, said. "It’s physically impossible. It would take literally years."

TAKING HIGH ROAD — Michael Phelps is doing what he can to get back in the public’s good graces, and he doesn’t need the Marijuana Policy Project rushing to his defense.

The group, which wants to legalize the substance that got Phelps in trouble, is organizing a boycott of Kellogg Co. for parting ways with Phelps, the winner of a record eight swimming gold medals at the Beijing Olympics.

"Kellogg’s had no problem signing up Phelps when he had a conviction for drunk driving, an illegal act that could actually have killed someone," Rob Kampia, the group’s executive director, told the AP. "To drop him for choosing to relax with a substance that’s safer than beer is an outrage."

The Marijuana Policy Project isn’t alone in the boycott. Also voicing their support were the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Drug Policy Alliance.

DRINKING PROBLEM — Athletes celebrating with champagne is a tradition, but next time U.S. skiing star Lindsey Vonn will think before she attempts to drink.

After a downhill victory at the world championships in France on Monday, she celebrated but couldn’t open the champagne bottle because the cork was broken. Someone else used a ski to get out the remainder of the cork, breaking part of the bottle. Unaware the bottle was broken, Vonn grabbed it and injured her right thumb.

She needed four stitches to close the wound and later was taken to Austria for surgery.

Now she might have to sit out Thursday’s giant slalom.

NOW HE CAN FIND A REAL JOB — Since leaving UCLA, Troy Aikman became a Hall of Fame quarterback and an NFL analyst for Fox. Not bad for a college dropout.

Aikman, 42, finally filled the one hole in his resume, getting A’s in two classes, and will graduate in June with a sociology degree, according to The Dallas Morning News. Twenty years after he left for the NFL, Aikman will participate in UCLA’s graduation ceremony, the newspaper reported.

Aikman’s final two courses were on race and ethnicity and on aging.

COMPILED BY MARK ANDERSON LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

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