Silver Medal, Swimming, 100-Meter Freestyle
Gold Medal, Swimming, 4 x 200-Meter Freestyle Relay, WR, OR
1920 Olympic Games
Pua Kealoha began swimming in 1914 for Palama Settlement as a 12-year-old boy and then moved to Hui Makani Swimming Club. He swam freestyle and breaststroke.
By 1919 he was finishing second to world-record holder Duke Kahanamoku in the 100-meters and making quite a name for himself in swimming circles. When the Matson steamer Wilhelmina left Honolulu in June 1920 carrying Hawaii’s Olympic hopefuls, Pua had earned his spot on the team. At the Alameda Olympic trials, the Hawaii team finished 1-2-3 in the 100-meter freestyle with Duke setting a new world record and Pua and Bill Harris not far behind. They repeated their dominance at the Olympic trials in Chicago, winning their place on the 1920 Olympic team.
In Antwerp, Pua won his heat in the 100-meter freestyle in 1:02.0, and his semifinal in 1:02.4. In the Olympic finals he placed second behind Duke in 1:02.6, followed by Bill Harris in third, earning the Silver medal.
In the 4 x 200-meter freestyle relay, Pua teamed with Perry McGillivray, Norman Ross and Duke to win a Gold medal setting a world and Olympic record of 10:04.4.
1924 Olympic Games
Pua continued to swim after the 1920 Olympics and was sent by the Hawaiian AAU to the 1924 Far Western Olympic tryouts. He finished second in the 100-meters. In the final Olympic tryouts, with only three swimmers making the team, Pua finished in fifth place behind Johnny Weissmuller and Duke.
After the Olympics, Pua stayed in Hollywood and had small roles in several movies. He later formed a quartet in which he was a singer and dancer and performed in the Southern California area.
He became a member of the Outrigger Canoe Club in 1962. He was inducted into the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Hawaii Swimming Hall of Fame in 2002.