Ohio man completes  swim from Catalina to mainland

Accomplishment completes Grand Slam for 60-year-old

John Muenzer in a picture posted on his Facebook page, is on Catalina on Aug. 2 just prior to heading to the boat to begin his swim from Catalina to overtown.

On August 3, 60-year-old John Muenzer of Cincinnati swam ashore overtown and completed the more than 20 mile swim from Catalina Island to the mainland. 

Muenzer started his journey around 11 p.m. on August 2, swimming through the night and reaching the mainland the following afternoon. The accomplishment capped a lifetime of open water swims by the Ohio native and qualifies him for the Grand Slam title. 

To qualify for the Grand Slam title, swimmers must complete swims of the English Channel (21 miles), Manhattan Island (28.5 miles), Tampa Bay (24 miles) and Catalina Island (20.5 miles). 

“When I think back to my first major swim from Canada to Ohio, I never thought I’d be here 39 years later. The Catalina Channel swim will be a challenge with the tough current and swimming the majority of the time at night,” John Muenzer before the swim. “I have been training for this last swim since 2018 and have logged in over 100 miles of open water swimming throughout my career. I am really looking forward to making land on Wednesday morning with my family there cheering me on.” 

With a support boat and crew, including kayakers pacing him in the water, Muenzer completed the journey in a swim time of just over 10 hours. On Aug. 6, Muenzer posted a short video from Disneyland thanking all of the people who helped and supported him. He said he was feeling much recovered and was celebrating with a trip to the Magic Kingdom.

Muenzer, a native to Maumee, Ohio, set seven school records while attending the University of Toledo, eventually getting inducted into the University’s hall of fame in 2000. After college, he trained under Doc Councilman, the 1976 Olympic coach, who encouraged Muenzer to pursue open water swimming. In 1983, Muenzer set a World Record with his 36-mile swim taking 24 hours and 20 minutes from Point Pelee, Canada to Ohio. 

Photos and videos can be found on his Facebook page John Muenzer Open Water Swimming.

Ohio man completes  swim from Catalina to mainland