101-year-old Hawaii man celebrates birthday at his favorite gym


HONOLULU (KHON2) – Despite an ongoing pandemic, a 101-year-old man celebrated his birthday doing what he loves most: exercising.

Dr. James Chou has been working out at 24 Hour Fitness for years, even after turning 100 years old. On Wednesday, the fitness club threw Chou and his son a socially distanced birthday party.

Chou, who was born in China, arrived in Honolulu in 1956 after having served in the Chinese Air Force during WWII.

The Former professor of engineering at the University of Hawaii Manoa joined 24 Hour Fitness Pearl City shortly after retiring at the age of 68.

“Dr. Chou is an inspiration to everyone he meets,” said Rob Philyaw, general manager of the fitness club. “In the face of a pandemic and being considered higher risk, he makes time for exercise and rarely misses a day. We can all learn from Dr. Chou’s commitment to exercise when we’re feeling unmotivated or nervous about exercising right now.”

The gym says Chou was 20 pounds overweight and diabetic upon starting his fitness journey. Since then, he and his son have been working out at the gym six days a week.

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