Opera boss starts Atlantic swim

Update: The chief executive of Opera software entered the icy waters of an Oslo fjord, after Opera's latest browser was downloaded over a million times in four days. Now he's back out

Opera chief executive Jon von Tetzchner claimed to have begun his cross-Atlantic swim on Monday, after the browser beat its download target.

Tetzchner said last week that he would swim from Norway to the US if Opera 8 was downloaded a million times in its first four days of release. As this target was exceeded over the weekend, Tetzchner has agreed to keep to his promise.

"Although I blatantly admit that my promise was based more on joy and enthusiasm than my swimming abilities and physical health, I will do my very best to keep it," said Tetzchner in a statement.

Tetzchner got into a "freezing Oslo fjord" on Monday and started swimming towards the US. Opera's PR manager Eskil Sivertsen is rowing an inflatable boat alongside Tetzchner "as an act of guilt after making the CEO's statement public," according to the Opera Web site.

Photos showing the start of Tetzchner's journey can be seen on the company's Web site.

Photo Copyright Opera Software

Jon von Tetzchner and his fjord escort begin their journey

Update added on 26 April 2004: Opera chief executive Jon von Tetzchner's "cross-Atlantic swim" finished on Tuesday, after a fortuitous puncture in the escorting dinghy forced the swim to be abandoned, coincidentally, right where it began.

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