Hawaii Swimming Legacy

 Yoshinobu Oyakawa

Date of Birth: August 9, 1933

_____Yoshi was born in Holualoa, Kona, Hawaii to proud parents, Reverend and Mrs. Edward K. Oyakawa. The youngest of three children, Yoshi was raised in Papaikou, Hawaii. He attended Kalaianaole Elementary and Intermediate School. He graduated from Hilo High School, Class of '51.

_____Yoshi was selected in the High School and College All-American Swimming Team. From 1951 - 1956, he was on the A.A.U. All-American Swim Team.

_____While at Ohio State University, from 1952 - 56, Yoshi dominated backstroke at the high levels of Big Ten, NCAA, and National A.A.U. So dominating, Yoshi held American, Olympic and World Records in the Backstroke event!

_____In the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, Yoshi won a gold medal in the 100-meter backstroke.

_____In 1955, Yoshi graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in Physical Education.

_____1956, Melbourne Australia. Yoshi and Ford Konno were voted team captains of the 22-member American Men's Olympic Swim Team!

_____Yoshi is married to Mariko Yamane. They have five children. He has taught at Oak Hill High School in Cincinnati, Ohio for 25 years. Never one to sit idle, Yoshi taught at North Kentucky University after retiring from Oak Hill High School.

_____Additional awards and honors bestowed upon this great Hawaii swimmer are:
_____Helm's Athletic Foundation winner in Swimming in the 1950's
_____Induction into OSU Athletic Hall of Fame
_____Induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1970
_____Induction into the Hawaii Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998

_____Since 1972 Yoshi has enjoyed participating in the Master's Swimming program where he continues to set records. For example, in 1998, in both the 50 and 100 yard Short Course Backstroke this swimming great set a National Record. In addition, in the 100 meter Long Course Backstroke, Yoshi set another National Record.

A man of humility, a giant in the water, this Big Island Boy continues to set records and make Hawaii Proud!