Marathon swimmer earns another posthumous honor

November 3, 2019 GMT

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 (PAYN’-ish) 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.