Grove City Marathon swimmer earns another posthumous honor

Ohio

Walter Poenisch has been selected for induction into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame

This June 1972 file photo shows Walter Poenisch swimming during his record ocean swim 90 miles up the Florida straights in a shark cage near Miami. Faye Poenisch, whose late husband, Walter, claimed to have swum from Cuba to Florida, plans a celebration for what would have been his 100th birthday. Poenisch will have a reception Thursday, July 11, 2013, in her Grove City home to honor Walter Poenisch, who on his 65th birthday in 1978 began his swim with Cuban President Fidel Castro personally seeing him off in Havana, reportedly after a toast with pineapple juice. The retired baker and record-holding endurance swimmer called his effort the “Swim for Peace” and said he completed nearly 130 miles to the Florida Keys nearly two days later.

This June 1972 file photo shows Walter Poenisch swimming during his record ocean swim 90 miles up the Florida straights in a shark cage near Miami. Faye Poenisch, whose late husband, Walter, claimed to have swum from Cuba to Florida, plans a celebration for what would have been his 100th birthday. Poenisch will have a reception Thursday, July 11, 2013, in her Grove City home to honor Walter Poenisch, who on his 65th birthday in 1978 began his swim with Cuban President Fidel Castro personally seeing him off in Havana, reportedly after a toast with pineapple juice. The retired baker and record-holding endurance swimmer called his effort the “Swim for Peace” and said he completed nearly 130 miles to the Florida Keys nearly two days later. (AP Photo/File)

GROVE CITY, Ohio (AP) – An Ohio baker who swam from Cuba to Florida at age 65 in 1978 will receive another posthumous honor.

Walter Poenisch has been selected for induction into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. The ceremony for the class of 2020 will be next May 2 at Fordham University in New York.

Poenisch was inducted in 2017 in the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

The Grove City baker persuaded Fidel Castro to let him swim from Cuba in a gesture for peace. Castro gave Poenisch a souvenir cigar to commemorate the swim.

Poenisch was credited with swimming 128.8 miles (207.27 kilometers) to the Florida Keys in 34 hours, 15 minutes.

Poenisch died in 2000 at age 86.

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