HONOLULU (KHON2) — On Aug. 24, 1890, the godfather of modern-day surfing was born. With his trademark koa wood surfboard, Duke Kahanamoku surfed one of the longest recorded waves from Diamond Head Crater to Honolulu Harbor.
From humble beginnings, Duke swam his way to become the legend he remains today.
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A documentary released last year explains how Duke became the face of a changing Hawaii and his impact on sports, lifesaving and fighting prejudice.
In 1912, Duke made it to his first Olympic games, competing in the 100m freestyle where he matched the world record in a qualifying heat. In the final, he was so far ahead that he was able to look back and survey the field at the halfway point — he still won despite this pause. Duke also earned a silver medal as a member of the U.S. freestyle team and later won a gold medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay.
Duke died on Jan. 22, 1968. In 1984, he was posthumously inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.
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He is remembered not only for his incredible athletic accomplishments but also for his personal doctrine of aloha.