Duke Kahanamoku

Duke Kahanamoku
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Duke Kahanamoku
Duke Kahanamoku
Duke Kahanamoku c. 1912
Personal info
Real name Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku
Nickname(s) “The Duke,” “The Big Kahuna”
National team  United States
Birthday/Birthplace (1890-08-24)August 24, 1890
Haleʻākala, Honolulu, Kingdom of Hawaii
Deceased January 22, 1968(1968-01-22)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg)
Sport Swimming
Strokes Freestyle
Club Waikiki Beach Boys

Medal record[show]

Representing the United States
Olympic Games
1912 Stockholm 100 m freestyle
1920 Antwerp 100 m freestyle
1920 Antwerp 4×200 m freestyle
1912 Stockholm 4×200 m freestyle
1924 Paris 100 m freestyle

Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku (Honolulu, 24 August 1890 – 22 January 1968), Al “ Grand Kahuna ” or “The Big Kahuna” He is considered the inventor of modern surfing and was also a swimming champion at the Olympic Games.

Duke_Kahanamoku’s Biography

The name of “Duke” or “Duke” is not a title, but his first name. His father was named “Duke” in honor of Prince Alfredo, Duke of Edinburgh, visiting in Hawaii when his father was born in 1869. The young “Duke”, as eldest son, inherited the name.

In his youth, Kahanamoku preferred the surfboard of the old school (traditional) that he called his “papa nui”, built in the style of the old “olo” Hawaiian boards. Made of koa tree wood, it measured 4.8 m (16 feet) and weighed 52 kg (114 pounds). The board had no keel, which had not yet been invented. In his later career, he would often use smaller tables, but he always preferred those that were made of wood.

On August 11, 1911, in an amateur swimming match, Kahanamoku made a time of 55.4 seconds in the 100 freestyle yards, breaking the current world record by 4.6 seconds, in the salty waters of the Port of Honolulu. He also beat the record of 200 meters and equaling that of the 50 meters, but those responsible for the Amateur Athletic Union, who did not believe his feat, would not recognize it until many years later.

In spite of everything, Kahanamoku easily qualified for the 1912 US Olympic swimming team, spectacularly beating the 200m freestyle record in his qualifying round for the 4×200 relay. He continued like this until winning the gold medal in the 100 meters freestyle of the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm and one silver with the relay team.

At the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, he won gold both in the 100 meters, ahead of his Hawaiian compatriot Pua Kealoha and in the relay. He finished the 100 meters with a silver medal at the 1924 Olympics in Paris, where the gold would go to Johnny Weissmüller and the bronze went to his own brother, Samuel Kahanamoku.

Among his participation in the Olympics and after retiring from the Olympic competition, Kahanamoku traveled to different parts of the world, especially Australia and the United States, offering swimming exhibitions. It was in this period that he popularized the sport of surfing, which until then was only known in Hawaii, by also including surfing exhibitions during his visits. The surfing demonstration on Sydney’s ‘Freshwater Beach’ on December 23, 1914 is universally considered the most important day in the development of surfing in Australia. The board that Kahanamoku mounted is preserved in the ‘Freshwater Surf Club’ and sometimes can be seen. There is a statue of him at the beginning of the beach.

Duke is also known for promoting the expansion of surfing in and beyond Hawaii and the United States.

During the time he lived in Southern California, Kahanamoku also acted as an extra in Hollywood and as an actor in several films. In this way, he established contacts with people who would later advertise surfing. Kahanamoku was also part of the ‘Los Angeles Athletic Club’, as a lifeguard as well as competing with both swimming and water polo teams.

On June 14, 1925, while living in Newport Beach, California, Kahanamoku rescued eight men from a fishing boat that overturned before the strong waves when trying to access the port of the city. Twenty-nine fishermen fell into the water, seventeen of whom died. With the help of his surfboard, he was able to go and quickly return to shore, increasing the number of rescued victims. Two other surfers saved four more fishermen. The Newport police chief at that time described Duke’s efforts as “the most superhuman rescue with a surfboard ever contemplated by the world.” In this way the tradition was born by which the lifeguards always have ready surfboards for their rescues.

Duke Kahanamoku was the first person to be recognized in both the Swimming Hall of Fame and the Surfing Hall of Fame. The Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championships surf championships are named after him. He was also sheriff of Honolulu, Hawaii from 1932 to 1961.

On the Waikiki beach in Honolulu, his memory is honored with a monument, which shows Duke Kahanamoku with his surfboard. Many people pay tribute by placing lei on his statue.

More Facts about Duke Kahanamoku

The Duke Kahanamoku’s statistics like age, body measurements, height, weight, bio, wiki, net worth posted above have been gathered from a lot of credible websites and online sources. But, there are a few factors that will affect the statistics, so, the above figures may not be 100% accurate.

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