Hawaiian born Duke Kahanamoku, known for being the Father of Surfing, is being featured on Google Doodle today in honor of what would have been his 125th birthday.
Though Duke is primarily known for helping to establish the sport of surfing, he is also a decorated Olympic swimmer from the beginning of the 20th Century. Duke had a 12-year Olympic swimming career. He began in 1912 at the Stockholm Olympics, where he competed in the 100 meter freestyle and 4×200 meter freestyle relay, winning gold and silver respectively. Duke took away two golds in the 1920 Antwerp Olympics and a silver in the 1924 Paris competition. Additionally, he is the first person to ever be inducted into both the Swimming Hall of Fame and the Surfing Hall of Fame.
Duke was able to leverage the fame he gained as a decorated Olympic swimmer to bring an increased international awareness to the sport of surfing. He lived in Southern California for many years and while there he appeared in several films, giving him the opportunity to make more connections and spread the word about surfing.
In addition to swimming, surfing, and playing water polo, Duke was also an actor, sheriff and beach volleyball player.