Goes across 24-mile stretch in 19 hours
(Cleveland) -- A South Euclid man has done something that no other Ohio resident has reportedly done before. Steve Wargo, 55, has swum across Lake Erie.
Wargo accomplished his feat overnight from July 31 into August 1, going 24.3 miles from Long Point, Ontario to Freeport Beach near Erie, Pennsylvania.
Why did he do it? Wargo tells WTAM "much as a mountain climber would look at a mountain, I look at a body of water and think, 'why not?'"
Wargo, who is also the oldest person to swim across Lake Erie, took a year to plan for his feat, dealing with training, establishing a team, and also dealing with government agencies. In addition to having passports, he and his team were also identified individual ID numbers by the Department of Homeland Security.
Wargo says he "hit the wall" at about seven hours into the swim, and became quite disappointed when being told he had gone only eight miles, when he had estimated he had gone 14. He swam a little more, and that's about the time his attitude and body metabolism changed, giving him the energy and drive to continue the swim.
When he arrived onshore in Pennsylvania, Wargo says he was so exhausted he had to crawl out of the lake, but eventually stood up and waved a small American flag. He says holding the flag was important to him, as his feat was also a way to raise money for the Wounded Warriors project, helping wounded military veterans.
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(Copyright 2013 Clear Channel, all rights reserved. Photo by Tom Moore, WTAM 1100.)