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Duke Kahanamoku - Huntington Beach, CA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NW_history_buff
N 33° 39.434 W 118° 00.100
11S E 407126 N 3724601
Quick Description: Duke Kahanamoku is considered by many to be the 'Father of Modern Surfing.'
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 4/10/2016 2:12:34 PM
Waymark Code: WMQXF2
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 1

Long Description:
Located at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street and in front of a shopping complex known as Pierside Pavilion is a life-size statue of Duke Kahanamoku made of bronze and standing on a concrete plinth. Duke stands in front of a longboard (surfboard). Surrounding the statue are a number of plaques and handprints in concrete that make up the 'Surfing Hall of Fame' in this corner square. There is a bronze plaque monumented on the concrete plinth that reads:

Duke Kahanamoku
August 24, 1890 - January 22, 1968

Duke Kanahamoku, three time Olympic gold medalist swimmer, public servant, goodwill ambassador of the State of Hawaii, and considered by many to be the father of modern surfing. In the early 1920's, the Duke surfed under Huntington's Pier. In his 70's, he returned to Huntington Beach to help promote the U.S. Surfboard Championships. For many years the championships were dedicated in honor of Duke's contributions to the sport of surfing. He will long be remembered for his principles of fair play, good sportsmanship and his gracious aloha spirit.

The biography of Duke from Wikipedia:

Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku (August 24, 1890 – January 22, 1968) was a Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) competition swimmer, who is widely credited with popularizing the ancient Hawaiian sport of surfing.[according to whom?] He was born towards the end of the Kingdom of Hawaii, just before the overthrow, living well into statehood as a United States citizen. He was a five-time Olympic medalist in swimming. Duke was also a law enforcement officer, an actor, a beach volleyball player and businessman.

His name "Duke" has often been confused with a royal title; however, it was his given name, passed down from his father. His grandparents were attendants to the Kamehamehas. While not a formal member of the royal family, he was descended from Alapainui, who ruled Hawaii Island.

Kahanamoku easily qualified for the U.S. Olympic swimming team in 1912. At the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, he won a gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle, and a silver medal with the second-place U.S. team in the men's 4×200-meter freestyle relay. During the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, he won gold medals both in the 100 meters (bettering fellow Hawaiian Pua Kealoha) and in the relay. He finished the 100 meters with a silver medal during the 1924 Olympics in Paris, with the gold going to Johnny Weissmuller and the bronze to Duke's brother, Samuel Kahanamoku. At age 34, this was Kahanamoku's last Olympic medal.[1] He also was an alternate for the U.S. water polo team at the 1932 Summer Olympics.

Between Olympic competitions, and after retiring from the Olympics, Kahanamoku traveled internationally to give swimming exhibitions. It was during this period that he popularized the sport of surfing, previously known only in Hawaii, by incorporating surfing exhibitions into these visits as well. His surfing exhibition at Sydney's Freshwater Beach on December 24, 1914 is widely regarded as a seminal event in the development of surfing in Australia. The board that Kahanamoku built from a piece of pine from a local hardware store is retained by the Freshwater Surf Club. There is a statue of Kahanamoku on the Northern headland of Freshwater Beach, New South Wales. He made surfing popular in mainland America first in 1912 while in Southern California.

During his time living in Southern California, Kahanamoku performed in Hollywood as a background actor and a character actor in several films. In this way, he made connections with people who could further publicize the sport of surfing. Kahanamoku was involved with the Los Angeles Athletic Club, acting as lifeguard and competing on both swimming and water polo teams.

While living in Newport Beach, California on June 14, 1925, Kahanamoku rescued eight men from a fishing vessel that capsized in heavy surf while attempting to enter the city's harbor.[9] 29 fishermen went into the water and 17 perished. Using his surfboard, he was able to make quick trips back and forth to shore to increase the number of sailors rescued.[10] Two other surfers saved four more fishermen. Newport's police chief at the time called Duke's efforts "the most superhuman surfboard rescue act the world has ever seen". It also caused U.S. lifeguards to begin using surfboards in their water rescues.[2]

In 1940, he married Nadine Alexander, who accompanied him when he traveled. Kahanamoku was the first person to be inducted into both the Swimming Hall of Fame and the Surfing Hall of Fame. The Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championships are named in his honor. He is a member of the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. He served as sheriff of Honolulu, Hawaii from 1932 to 1961, serving 13 consecutive terms. During this period, he also appeared in a number of television programs and films, such as Mister Roberts (1955).

The statue was commissioned by artist Edmond Shumpert.

URL of the statue: Not listed

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