Tokyo 2020: The Hawaii private school that has churned out dozens of Olympians – and a US president

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The Punahou School that presidential candidate Barack Obama attended as a teenager is shown October 22, 2008 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Getty Images)
The Punahou School that presidential candidate Barack Obama attended as a teenager is shown October 22, 2008 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Getty Images)

It is Hawaii’s most famous private high school and was attended by Tokyo 2020 gold medal surfer Carissa Moore - and Barack Obama.

But the surf star and the 44th president of the United States are not the only famous names to have walked the corridors of The Punahou School in Honolulu.

For the school, which costs more than $27,000 per year to attend, has more than 30 graduates who have gone on to compete at the Olympics.

And amazingly the school has had at least one former pupil make an Olympic team at every games going back to 1972.

Swimmer Warren Kealoha, who attended the school between 1920 and 1922, represented the United States at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium, where he won a gold while still a student.

Keoloha had victories in the 100m backstroke at both the 1920 games, when he was just 16, and the 1924 Paris games.

In addition to Moore, there are two other Punahou graduates at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Erik Shoji, who graduated in 2008, is a member of the US men’s volleyball team and is taking part in his second Olympics.

Shoji’s father Dave coached the University of Hawaii’s women’s volleyball team from 1975 to 2017, wining four national championships.

Shelby Baron, who graduated from the school in 2012, will be competing in the wheelchair tennis competition in Tokyo, her second Paralympic Games.

Baron, who was born with spina bifida, reached the last 16 in singles, and the doubles quarterfinals at the Rio 2016 games.

Taylor Crabb, who graduated in 2010, also made the Team USA men’s volleyball team but had to pull out of the competition when he tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Japan.

The school has ben represented in beach volleyball, diving, message, kayaking, sailing, swimming, volleyball, water polo, athletics and now surfing.

Golfer Michelle Wie is also a graduate fo the school, as is John Travolta’s late wife, actress Kelly Preston.

Brian Schatz, one of the state’s two Democratic US Senators, also attended the school.

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