Sunday, October 18
Tuesday, October 13
. . . "On his way to the 1912 Olympiad in Stockholm, Sweden, Duke met Native American Jim Thorpe, celebrated as the greatest all-around athlete of his time. "When Jimmy and I were on the boat to the Olympics in Sweden," Duke remembered, "we had a talk. I said, 'Jimmy, I've seen you run, jump, throw things and carry the ball. You do everything so why don't you swim too?' "Jimmy just grinned at me with that big grin he had for everyone, and said, 'Duke, I saved that for you to take care of. I saved that for you.'"
Sports history was made in Stockholm. Jim Thorpe won almost everything on land and Duke Paoa Kahanamoku won almost everything in the water. Duke broke the record for the 100-yard freestyle, winning the gold medal. Another legendary surfer, George Freeth, had been disqualified from the Olympic trials, back in the States, because his job as lifeguard was considered a professional position. Kahanamoku and Thorpe so impressed their Swedish hosts and the world that both were personally called to the Royal Victory Stand where they received their gold medals and Olympic wreaths directly from Sweden's King Gustaf. Years later, in 1965 at age 75, Duke reminisced about the triumphant moment 53 years earlier. "Come here. Come here a minute. Let me show you something," Duke said. His interviewer wrote that his "now cloudy eyes became clear and his halting speech fluent as he fondly handled a framed wreath on his bedroom wall. "'I was just a big dumb kid when King Gustaf of Sweden gave me this. I didn't even know what it was really and almost threw it away. But now it is my most prized trophy,' he said proudly.""more on Duke Kahanamoku
more on Jim Thorpe