If today’s column subject, Bryan Clay, earns a third Olympic medal in the decathlon in London this summer does that push him past Duke Kahanamoku as Hawaii’s greatest Olympian? Interesting question I discussed briefly on the radio this morning with Scott Robbs and Steve Murray, who are subbing for Bobby Curran this week on 1420 AM’s morning show.
Kahanamoku will have finished with more medals than Clay … but top swimmers have many more opportunities for medals than decathletes.
Clay will never be the same mythic and transcendent figure to Hawaii and Hawaiians as Kahanamoku, but even if he doesn’t make it out of the trials for the U.S. team this week he will still be one of the greatest decathletes of all-time, with a silver in 2004 and a gold in 2008.
Where does Tommy Kono (born and raised in California, but longtime Hawaii resident) fit into the conversation? Kono won two golds and a silver in weightlifting in three Olympiads.