Melody Teh


Wed, 22 Jul, 2015

83-year-old woman beats breast cancer to become star athlete

83-year-old woman beats breast cancer to become star athlete

Patricia Fujii is proving that it’s never too late. At 83, she’s only just hitting her peak.

Six years ago, Patricia was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer and, due to the radiation, was feeling sluggish. When she asked her nurse what she could do to feel more energised, the nurse recommended exercising to keep her mind and body in check.

So the 77-year-old began exercising every day until, on the last day of her radiation treatment, she was fit enough to compete in the Idaho Senior Games. However, she didn’t just compete the race, she won. With seven gold medals from the day, Patricia says she finally found her calling – even if it was later in life.

“It was a wonderful feeling!” she told, “I won 7 gold medals, and I made it through the day without getting sick or having to quit. My zumba, aerobics, and tai chi classes really helped my track.”

Patricia -Fujii -1 (1)

After her win in the 2008, Patricia continued her exercise routine and went on to win 10 gold medals in the 2014 games. But she didn’t stop there, Patricia soon entered the senior’s equivalent of the Olympics: the National Seniors Games.

Although Patricia didn’t medal in any of her categories, she says the experience itself was what was important.

"All the athletes are friendly, so encouraging and cheer you on," Fujii said, "I like to make new friends, also, and have made friends from different parts of Idaho.”

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