Joey Pedraza, Swimming From Cuba To Florida

Joey Pedraza, Swimming From Cuba To Florida

University of Florida Gator swimmer Joey Pedraza took a different route from Cuba to Florida than the more celebrated marathon swimmers of the modern era, Penny Palfrey and Diana Nyad.

Pedraza was recently named to the 2012-2013 USA Open Water National Team – an honor for sure, but an unusual one for a swimmer born and raised in Cuba.

Pedraza moved to Florida in 1998 with his family. Seeking success like many who emigrate, Pedraza picked up English, worked hard in the classroom and pool, graduated from high school, earned his American citizenship and a college swimming scholarship along the way. He graduated from the University of Florida and took his talents to the open water. As a result of his high finishes at the USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships, he earned the right to represent the United States in international competitions.

Touted by his teammates as a man with a huge heart, his road to success is only just begun.

Photo courtesy of The Gator Grind.

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association