Duke’s Olympic Feet

Duke Kahanamoku was the twentieth century’s top waterman, and is known as the “father of international surfing.” The first Hawaiian to win an Olympic gold medal, Duke represented the United States in the Olympic Games in 1912, 1920, 1924 and 1932, winning gold, silver and bronze medals. Born in 1890, Duke grew up next to the ocean in Waikîkî. After school, he and his sister and brothers would hit the water. “I was only happy when I was swimming like a fish,” Duke said. Duke and the other beach boys gathered under a hau tree in Waikîkî. They rode the waves at Castles, a prime surf spot, on their sixteen-foot solid wooden surfboards. Years of swimming, surfing and canoe paddling made Duke a fine athlete. He had a strong body, long arms, powerful legs and his hands were said to be as big as buckets. Some claimed he had feet as big as fins and could steer a canoe with his feet alone. Duke knew that he was a very fast swimmer and he trained constantly. He said that God had given him a gift and a whip. “The whip,” he said with a grin, “is to flog myself into getting the most out of the gift.” He felt that, just maybe, he could be a champion and win Olympic gold for Hawai‘i. His chance came August 12, 1911, at Alakea Slip in Honolulu Harbor, when he demolished the world amateur record for the 100-yard freestyle. His excitement was crushed when mainland AAU officials refused to believe his time. “What are you using for stopwatches over there in Hawai‘i?” they asked. “Alarm clocks?” The AAU officials doubted that a virtually untrained swimmer could break a world record. It was up to Duke to prove he could go up against the world’s fastest swimmers and beat them. Along with his athletic accomplishments, Duke is remembered for his concern for others, humility in victory, courage in adversity and good sportsmanship.

Take a closer look at Duke’s Olympic Feet as examined in WOW Review.

The Little Hippos’ Adventure

Life for the little hippos is always the same: diving and swimming to their hearts’ content. Except the hippos think that it would be more fun if their diving board could be higher, as high as Tall Cliff. But they’re not allowed to go to Tall Cliff because it’s too dangerous. Each day they ask if they can, and each day they are told no. Finally, one day they are allowed to go there to bathe – cheers and jubilation. They are happy and hungry when they are swimming home, and they completely forget to watch out for trouble.

 

Snipp, Snapp, Snurr Learn to Swim

Snipp, Snapp and Snurr were three little boys who lived in Sweden. They had blue eyes and yellow hair, and they looked very much alike.One summer, the boys went to the seashore with their nanny. Although they didn’t know how to swim, Snipp and Snapp decided to go ‘sailing’ in Nanny’s washtub. Luckily, Snurr ran and got help from their friend Nick. One thing was certain after that–it was time for the boys to learn to swim! It took many lessons and a lot of practice, but in time Snipp, Snapp, and Snurr proudly showed their parents their new skills–and then they even won a swimming contest!

Freedom Child of the Sea

A young man, swimming off the shore of a Caribbean island, is saved from drowning by a mysterious boy who appears from the depths. His body is scarred, yet his face is beautiful, and he leaps and swims as joyously as the dolphins. When the young man tells this to a passing stranger, he in turn is told a story of the days of slave trading. When one of his ancestors came to these islands aboard a slave ship, a pregnant woman was thrown off because it was thought she wouldn’t survive the journey. It is said that she and her son live in the ocean to this day, and he is called Freedom Child of the Sea. Only when there is harmony among all people will he and his mother be able to live on land as others do. Reassuring the young man that there is hope for all humanity, the stranger goes on his way.