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Elderly man a model of fitness

By Tan Yingzi and Deng Rui in Chongqing | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-07-30 20:58
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A video of a 79-year-old man in Chongqing who can do 50 pushups has gone viral in China recently. His colorful retirement life has also impressed many young people.

Cao Yuhua, born in Shanghai in 1941, served as deputy chief engineer and director of the import-export department of Chongqing Heavy Duty Truck Group. He has traveled to 43 countries with speaking fluent self-taught English. He retired in 2002.

In 1968, an English textbook ignited Cao's interest and his English studies lasted for 13 years. Until age 40, Cao received periodic English language training at Sichuan International Studies University.

"Opportunities are always for those who are prepared," he said.

His company introduced an American technology as soon as he finished the language training, and he became the top candidate to receive related factory management training abroad. He studied in the United States for three months and in the United Kingdom for two weeks. He did the grocery shopping and translation for other Chinese engineers.

In the 1980s and 1990s when foreign trade in automobiles began, Cao took charge of the import-export business at his company, promoting the Hongyan heavy duty truck to the world, along with a heavy dump truck and a heavy truck chassis.

After retirement, he has spent half his time traveling. So far, he has visited 43 countries and virtually every corner of China. Hundreds of souvenirs from all over the world are displayed in his living room, such as shells from Madagascar beach, a model of a Turkish dancer, a matryoshka doll from Russia and a special plate from Pakistan.

In recent years, Cao has devoted himself to physical fitness — for example, playing table tennis with an 82-year-old partner. The gymnasium he frequented was closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so he began to work out with dumbbells, pull rings and jump-ropes as hobbies at home.

Oh, yes … he also does pushups and doing push-ups as new hobbies at home. Every evening, he does 50 on the floor.

Cao loves photography and has taken tens of thousands of photos over the years. He's worn out four digital SLR cameras and three tripods.

"I like taking photos, and I take selfies as well," he said.

Although he has lived alone for years (his wife passed away in 1996 and his two children work in other provinces), Cao enjoys the peaceful life. Lots of green plants thrive on his balcony and each pot is equipped with an automatic sprinkler in case he travels.

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