Friday, February 20, 2009

Monochrome Friday: The Big Kahuna


Monument at Waikiki Beach, Hawaii in honor of
Duke Paoa Kahanamoku

Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, a full-blooded Hawaiian symbolized Hawai'i to millions of people.  An Olympic champion and the world's fastest swimmer, he won three gold medals, two silver, and one bronze in four Olympic games.   

Known as the "Father of International Surfing", he was regarded as the person who popularized the modern sport of surfing.  He was the first person to be inducted in both the Swimming Fall of Fame and the Surfing Hall of Fame.  He is also a member of the US Olympic Hall of Fame.

He became a hero when he saved eight lives from a capsized launch at Corona del Mar, California in 1925 using his surfboard.  Newport's chief of Police called Duke's efforts as "the most superhuman surfboard rescue the world has ever seen."

He was  a movie actor from 1925- 1933 and elected Sheriff of Honolulu for thirteen consecutive terms from 1934- 1960.  Duke died at the age of 77 on January 22, 1968.

He has honored his name, he has honored his race, he has honored his state.

A monument at Waikiki Beach honors Duke's memory.  It shows him standing in front of his surfboard with his arms outstretched.  People honor him by placing lei  on his statue.



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