with the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Game take solace in Duke, his strength, his example in the face of crushing blows, and his history of Olympic participation:
Duke was absolutely ready for the 1916 Olympics as reigning world and Olympic champ. the Games were scheduled for July, but because of Germany’s reluctance to accept that the Olympics could not be held during a world at war, Duke stayed in superb shape until March 1916 when it became clear the Games would not be held.can you imagine what he felt, he had trained for 4 years for the Olympics? It is so similar to the current situation.because the War dragged on, Duke and two other swimmers from Hawaii (Clarence Lane and Stubby Kruger) toured the USA for the Red Cross and for military and civilian morale for 9 months, in 1918.Duke became a symbol of hope, but then disaster struck again–he (and the others) got the Spanish flu and nearly died in Washington DC (from being at military facilities.) Duke returned to Hawaii to recover, and immediately assumed an even more leadership role, organizing swim meets to build the Islands’ morale and maintain swimming excellence. as history shows us he fought his way back and survived. In fact, he came roaring back as the gold medalist (age 30) when the Olympics were finally held in 1920 in war torn Antwerp Belgium. he continued to set world records – a good reminder that Hawaii was the strongest team at the 1920 Olympics because of Duke!
let us all continue to share Duke’s aloha !