Upon the release of Opera 8, company CEO Jon S. von Tetzchner promised that if Opera 8 were downloaded 1 million times in its first four days that he would swim from Norway to the United States of America making only one stop in Iceland to drink his mom's now famous hot chocolate. On the third night after the release downloads reached 1 million, and by the fourth morning downloads were at 1,050,000, with an average download rate, at some points in time, of 120 per second. Though Tetzchner claims he made his promise out of joy and excitement, he said he would in fact swim across the Atlantic Ocean. If it were not for Opera's Communications department making his statement public he probably would not have swam to the US.
On April 25, 2005 Jon stepped into the icy Oslo fjord donning a Hydra Dive Center wet suit, beginning his journey from Norway. On the first day of swimming, he travelled to the southern border of Norway, before there was an accident. Phanton, the company's inflatable raft was punctured. Eskil Sivertsen, who was riding in the raft, began sinking, and in a heroic feat of stamina, Jon saved his life. Amazingly, a farmer looking out his window managed to take high resolution pictures with a zoom lense. Jon pushed the raft back, with PR Manager Eskil still inside, to the shore. Upon arrival he was proclaimed a hero, but he seemed sad that he now would not be able to complete his journey. While the cause of the damage remains unclear, the journey was discontinued, possibly saved for a future release of Opera 9.
And what did Eskil have to say about his dramatic rescue? "It was cold and wet and horrible and I was really, really scared," says Eskil Sivertsen, Opera's PR Manager. "The night had been crisp and starlit, and we had fallen asleep in the raft to the gentle movement of the waves. In the morning, I gave Jon two chocolate bars and some of those mini carrots he likes so much before he jumped back into the water. He had only been swimming for an hour or so when the raft suddenly punctured in open sea. I owe my life to Jon, and I can only hope that he doesn't fire me for ruining his dream of swimming to America."
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