By Ellen Nason
Hao-Ming Siu considers himself to be a typical senior in terms of athletic accomplishments, but most of us would not consider him typical at all. He began running to improve his health after college, soon qualified for the Boston Marathon, still works out daily and will compete in his fifth National Senior Games in July.
Siu’s modest views of his own athleticism is tied to the fact that he grew up watching his brother Max, now 62, win track and field events from an early age. Siu and his brother will both compete at the 2015 National Senior Games, presented by Humana, which will be held July 3-16 in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
“I enjoy talking to other people about what I do and hope it encourages them to be more active,” said Siu. “Maybe I can motivate other people better than my brother could because he is an experienced champion and that could be intimidating, but I am very typical and can still compete and stay active.”
Siu, an architect in Louisville, Kentucky, said he sits in front of a computer much of the day due to the nature of his work and that causes stress on the body and mind.
“If I don’t run, the stress would get to me,” he said. “Running and being healthy helps me handle stress. Running fits best into my schedule, and I can get out in the morning and enjoy scenery and nature. I even take photos of what I see and show them to others to encourage them to get active and get outdoors. By being active each day, I don’t have the problems others my age have. I think running has kept me from visiting my doctor too much!”
He said he expects another championship medal performance from his brother during the Senior Games, but he will be happy to simply get into the finals.
“He motivates me to improve, and I am feeling good this year,” said Siu. “If I can avoid the muscle injuries I had before previous Games, I think I will do well. I’m lucky that my body lets me keep running – lucky to have this opportunity to compete and make new friends, and I hope I can do it the rest of my life. I preach to other older people to stay active and start each day on a positive note as I do. If I can do it, they can too. It’s not about how fast you run, but how well you manage your health. Find what you like whether it is running, swimming or pickleball … just do something. ”
He may not win as many medals as his brother, but he is a champion – a champion of health.
For more information about the 2015 National Senior Games, read our news release. And as we did at the 2013 Games, we will regularly update this blog to share stories and videos about the extraordinary people who demonstrate courage, strength, dedication and a passion for sport and the pursuit of better health.
July 13 UPDATE: Max and Hao Siu walked away winners at the 2015 National Senior Games. Max won bronze in the long jump, silver in the 50-meter dash and gold in the triple jump. Hao won a bronze medal in the 400-meter dash. Max will compete in the 2015 World Masters Athletics Outdoor Championship next month in France.