HONOLULU (KHON2) — Locals and visitors celebrated 132 years of Duke Kahanamoku and his aloha spirit in a lei draping ceremony held Wednesday morning.

Many spoke about what the Duke meant to them and how they planned to carry on his legacy.

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We’re not just celebrating Duke with musical renditions and hula but also recognizing how much impact Duke has on the youth in Hawaii.

The Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation said they helped support well over 1000 students in achieving their dreams with scholarships.

Executive Director at Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation Sarah Fairchild said, “Everyone on our board feels very proud of these kids as we watch them pursue their dreams. Some of them we’ve seen at Dukes Ocean Fest as small keiki, and now they’re headed off as young adults to college representing Hawaii, bring the aloha spirit.”

2021 Scholarship winner Shaye Story said, “I first swam when I was 10 years old so it’s kind of crazy to come back and be able to speak in front of the statue that I took a photo with. So, I think it’s a huge honor to be able to say you were a part of his legacy because his legacy is so huge.”

2020 Scholarship winner Makena Ginoza said, “Honestly, I think I would be speechless. He’s kind of like an urban legend, but I just want to say thank you for all he’s done. Not only for swimming but surfing as well, as well as just putting Hawaii on the map and sharing the aloha spirit with the world.”

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Dukes OceanFest with many water sporting events still to come will continue until Sunday, Aug. 28th.