Honolulu visitors on March 15 can enjoy sporting activities in the water and on the sand while soaking up the sun along Waikiki Beach during the 30th annual Duke Kahanamoku Beach Challenge.
The opening ceremony will be followed by a quarter-mile sprint race in outrigger canoes and stand-up paddleboard races. On shore, ancient Hawaiian games, including a traditional tug-of-war called huki kaula, will be played.
Live entertainment and a craft fair will also be featured.
Duke Kahanamoku popularized surfing in California and around the world in the early 1900s. After Hawaii achieved statehood in 1959, he was appointed as Hawaii's "Ambassador of Aloha."
It was in swimming that he won three gold Olympic medals for the U.S. — one in 1912 at the Stockholm Games (freestyle swimming) and two in 1920 in Antwerp, Belgium, again in freestyle swimming and as a member of the 800-meter relay team.
Waikiki's Kahanamoku Street, which was named for him, is near his boyhood home. He died in 1968 at age 77.
Locals and visitors alike regularly visit a statue of Kahanamoku along Waikiki Beach to place colorful leis on his outstretched arms.