New Google doodle honours 'big kahuna' Duke Kahanamoku, the father of surfing

Monday’s Google Doodle celebrated the birthday of Hawaiian-American Duke Kahanamoku, the father of surfing. But not just that, he was also a competition swimmer, an actor, sheriff of Honolulu, early beach volleyball player, and a businessman.

google doodle big kahuna

His list of accolades is equally unending. A five-time Olympic medallist in swimming competitions, he was dubbed the King of all swimmers, and known as the Big Kahuna. The doodle features a 16-foot wooden surfboard along with Duke's trademark wide grin.

Kahanamoku had qualified for the US Olympic swimming team in 1912. At the Summer Olympics in Stockholm that year, he won a gold medal in the 100-metre freestyle event, and a silver medal in the men's 4x200-metre freestyle relay. He finished the 100 metres event at the 1924 Olympics in Paris with a silver medal.

He had a ripe political career, Kahanamoku was also elected the sheriff of his home county 13 times and starred in over a dozen movies. Most importantly, he is credited with helping the Hawaiian islands achieve statehood in 1959.

A bronze statue at Waikiki beach in Honolulu honours his memory. Kahanamoku died of a heart attack on January 22, 1968 at the age of 77.

Published Date: Aug 24, 2015 09:48 AM | Updated Date: Aug 24, 2015 09:48 AM

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