Hawaii is surrounded by the sea. Hawaii's rich aquatic
tradition includes swimming, sailing, and surfing. Starting with
the great Duke Kahanamoku and carried forth by coaching legend
Soichi Sakamoto, no other sport has gained as much recognition
for Hawaii as has swimming. No less than 49 Olympic medals have
been won by Hawaii swimmers and divers, and 14 Hawaii athletes
have been inducted into the International Swimming and Diving
Hall of Fame.
Hawaii Swimming Legacy Project is the non-profit parent agency
of the Hawaii Swimming Hall of Fame. The Legacy Project was started
in 1999 by UH Professor Dr. Hiroshi Yamauchi, Olympians Sonny
Tanabe, Evelyn Kawamoto, Bill Smith, and Gary Hosaka and Keith
Arakaki. They had concern that richness of Hawaii's swimming and
diving legacy would be gradually forgotten, and was in danger
of being lost forever, unless a concerted effort was made to gather,
preserve, and disseminate for present and future generations,
this history. The vision of the project was to preserve the history
of swimming and diving in Hawaii and to provide inspiration for
future generations of Hawaii athletes.
With grant and other donated money, Prof. Hiroshi Yamauchi created
the timeline display of modern Hawaii swimming competition, "Aukai
to Aukai." Aukai means: to travel or swim by sea; sea fairing;
sailor; seafarer. The traveling display was seen at Honolulu Hale,
State Library, and Honolulu International Airport. It is currently
on display at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center, Patsy T. Mink
Central Oahu Regional Park.
Olympian Sonny Tanabe spearheaded a campaign to create a Hall
of Fame for swimmers, divers, water polo players, masters swimmers
and channel swimmers. This culminated in the first Hawaii Swimming
Hall of Fame induction held in 2002 at the Waikiki Elks Club,
a reunion of Olympian, National Champion, and International Champion
More donations came in, and more work was done to promote Hawaii's
swimming and aquatic legacy. A giant replica of the Hall of Fame
medallion was created out of bronze, and is prominently displayed
at the Honolulu International Airport, in the Diamond Head Concourse.
The second class of inductees were honored at the 2003 induction
at the Waikiki Elks Club.
Then crowds got so big that the induction banquet outgrew the
Waikiki Elks Club, and the third induction class was honored in
the larger Hale Koa Hotel Derussy Hall in 2005.
The 4th and 5th inductions continued to be held at the Hale Koa
Hotel Derussy Hall in 2008 and 2012.
The 6th induction class will be honored in the Hale Koa Hotel
Derussy Hall at the induction banquet in October 2015.
- President: Carl Kawauchi
- Vice President: Norman Kawachika
- Treasurer: Susan Nishioka
- Secretary: Alton Motobu
- Kerry Yoneshige
- Sonny Tanabe
- Swimming: Keith Arakaki
- Water Polo: Susan Nishioka
- Diving: Mike Brown
- Masters Swimming:Joe Lileikis
- Ocean/Channel Swimming: Carl Kawauchi
- Keith Arakaki
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