It started as plain curiosity. A lot like Peter Mel in the clip above, I turned to my friends in The Inertia office. “Why are Hawaiians recognized differently than Americans in the WSL?” I felt like I was left out of an insider’s secret. But, as it turns out, none of us knew.
We’d published articles in the past about how it is. I recently wrote about how Hawaiians have competed as Americans in the Olympics, how it’s distinct in surfing, and what all that might mean. But collectively, we never quite got to the bottom of how exactly this distinction came to be in the first place.
So, I began a little quest.