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A former Mr. Universe celebrates 100th birthday

posted 18 Mar 2012, 13:12 by Mpelembe   [ updated 18 Mar 2012, 13:12 ]
Former Mr. Universe Manohar Aich said the key to his centenary is a positive attitude and learning how to handle life's difficulties.

KOLKATA, WEST BENGAL, INDIA (MARCH 17, 2012)  (ANI) - Former Mr. Universe Manohar Aich from Kolkata celebrated a milestone on Saturday (March 17) by celebrating his 100th birthday surrounded by family, friends and bodybuilders.

Aich attributed his longevity to his life-long passion for the sport and also by maintaining a happy outlook and stress-free disposition on life.

"I am very happy and enjoying a lot. Bodybuilding has helped me to come a long way," he said.

At a function to honour him, priests chanted hymns and prayed for his longevity.

Despite growing up in an impoverished background, Aich become Mr. Universe in London in 1952.

He took up bodybuilding when he joined the Air Force in 1943 and later persisted in the sport while he was imprisoned for his protest against colonial rule.

Aich said he would train in his cell on his own for up to 12 hours a day.

He was released in 1947 when India gained its independence from Britain.

With a height of four feet, 11 inches, he has been nicknamed "Pocket Hercules" by fans.

Aich was still lifting weights up until last year when he suffered a minor stroke.

Today, Aich helps his sons run a gym and advises youths on bodybuilding.