Archives for Bill Smith

Olympic champ/Natatorium friend Bill Smith has died

Sad news: Olympic gold medal swimmer and Hawai’i hero Bill Smith – a world record holder whose first competitive swimming experiences were in the waters of the Waikiki Natatorium – has died. Bill was 88 when he passed away Feb. 8, his family with him. Considered the world’s greatest swimmer for virtually all of the 1940s, William Melvin Smith was 15 when he started his competitive career at the Natatorium in 1939. Just a year later, he placed second in the mile swim at the AAU Nationals in California, where he met coaching legend Soichi Sakamoto. He later moved to
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Categories: Friends of the Natatorium, History, and Uncategorized.

Now playing…

The Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium is not only a memorial to Hawai’i history, but itself a part of that history. The world premiere run of a new play, The Three-Year Swim Club, is a good occasion to remind ourselves that this commemoration of Hawai’i’s war dead was always meant as a living memorial, full of activity and emblematic of the way of life that our military men and women fought to preserve. And as a living memorial, the Natatorium has had a unique role in Hawai’i’s history and the history of competitive swimming. This show, written by Lee A. Tonouchi
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Categories: Events, History, and Uncategorized.