Duke Kahanamoku (whose full name was a mind-boggling Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku) would have been 125 years old today, if people had indefinite lifespans and Google (through "Google Doodler" Matt Cruickshank) saluted him with a distinctive surfboard logo. Less well known than the fact that Duke introduced the world to surfing and was the best known Indigenous Hawaiian ever) is that Duke won five Olympic medals in swimming:
- 1912 (Stockholm) - gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle and the silver medal with the U.S. team in the men's 4 x 200-meter freestyle relay
- 1920 (Antwerp) gold medals both in the 100 meters (bettering fellow Hawaiian Pua Kealoha) and in the relay.
- 1924 (Paris) Silver medal in the 100-meter freestyle (with the gold going to Johnny Weissmuller and the bronze to Duke's brother, Samuel Kahanamoku).
- 1932 (Los Angeles) Duke didn't compete, but he was an alternate for the U.S. water polo team.
Bear in mind he was born in 1890, so in 1932 he was almost 42. He also He served as sheriff of Honolulu from 1932 to 1961, serving 13 consecutive terms. Duke surfed on in 1968, having packed so much into the first 77 years of his life that it makes you wonder what he could have accomplished with another 47. E ho'omaha me ka maluhia, Kahuna, you continue to serve as an inspiration.