August 24th is Duke Kahanamoku Day

Duke who?  Yeah, I think we went to a Dukes restaurant on vacation once, right?

Duke Kahanamoku, an exceptional man and person, is worth remembering for inspiration.  Duke went confidently against the grain of the larger world in the positive manner he believed in, and he made the world a richer place in doing so.  He did what he loved, and shared what he loved with the world.
Duke Kahanamoku was born August 24, 1890, a full blooded Hawaiian, but he was a common Hawaiian by birth.  So why will you find statues of him at various places around the world?  It was the things Duke did and the way he interacted with people that made his name ring true, for he carried an inherent air of nobility.  Duke was royalty of his own making, by his character and action.
Growing up around the beaches of Waikiki, Duke spent countless hours in the ocean surfing, swimming and paddling canoe, the things he loved, and he was probably as comfortable in and under the ocean and most people are at a grassy park.
It was swimming that brought Duke to world attention, and Duke that brought Aloha and surfing to the attention of the world.
When Duke was 20, an attorney clocked the 100 yard pace of one his daily swims at Diamond Head and realized he was swimming a world class pace.  Convincing Duke and his friends to form a club and enter Hawaii's first sanctioned swim meet, Duke broke the world record for the 100 yard freestyle in Honolulu Harbor.  Mainstream swimming refused to believe it, suggesting the unconventional venue must have given him some advantage.  Duke proved them wrong in the following year at the Stockholm Olympics where he won the gold medal in the 100 meter freestyle and set a new world record.  An unknown, Duke developed his swimming style out in the ocean, learning from any visiting swimmers he met at Waikiki.
Competitive swimming provided a avenue to connect the world outside Hawai'i with Hawai'i, and Duke became an unofficial ambassador for Hawai'i, surfing, and aloha for decades.

For the millions around the world who surf, it's because Duke led the way.

Duke's creed

Try meeting or leaving people with aloha, you’ll be surprised by their reaction. I believe it and it is my creed. Aloha to you.

— Duke Paoa Kahanamoku

A few things about Duke

  • Participated in the Olympics from age 22 through 42, winning 3 gold medals, 2 silver, and a bronze over 20 years
  • Rode a monster wave at Waikiki for over a mile on a 16' finless board, a legendary ride never equaled
  • An incomparable ocean waterman, he rescued drowning men, fought a 10' eel, and filled his life with many more heroics now lost in time
  • Introduced the world to surfing, swimming, and Aloha 
Learn more about Duke

Posted via email from Really Bad Ideas

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