A long overdue thank you to Karen (whom I’m guessing is on the left up there!) for sending tonight’s statue in. This man is Duke Kahanamoku, and he’s one of the most famous athletes from the islands of Hawaii.
He made his name first of all by winning a load of medals in the swimming pool at the 1920 and 1924* Olympic Games. He also took a gold in the 1932 Olympics as part of the US water polo team. He is generally regarded as the person who popularised the modern sport of surfing, such was his prowess with a board as he travelled around Australia and the United States performing swimming and surfing exhibitions. He starred as an extra and character actor in a number of Hollywood films (starring alongside John Wayne amongst others). He moved back to his homeland of Honolulu, where he was elected the county sheriff and continued to fulfil this role for a further 13 terms. He’s also been inducted in to the US Olympic Hall of Fame and has featured on a US postal stamp, amongst other achievements.
That’s quite some resume right there eh?! What a dude, and indeed a complete legend. Very much worthy of this fine statue, which is found on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. Thanks again Karen for bringing the Duke to our attention.
* Funnily enough, he was pipped to second place in the 1924 Olympic 100 metres freestyle by Johnny Weissmuller, another multi-talented sporting and acting dude. Must have been some race that one!