Not your regular grandfather

By Xu Junqian in Shanghai ( China Daily ) Updated: 2017-06-10 07:24:39

Not your regular grandfather

Wang Deshun, who is dubbed "China's hottest grandpa", was recently featured in Italian brand Ermenegildo Zegna's latest campaign in China. Photos provided to China Daily

While Wang Deshun is best-known for his impressive physique, the truly inspirational quality about this octogenarian is his tenacity in seeking out and getting through the struggles

Retirement for most senior citizens in China involves playing mahjong, taking care of their grandchildren and just shooting the breeze with peers at the neighborhood park.

Wang Deshun, however, has other things on his mind.

The 81-year-old said he prefers to "look for trouble" and take on more unconventional tasks that pose a sterner challenge. Despite having to juggle his time between working out at the gym, appearing at fashion shoots and acting in films and television shows, he claimed that life for him these days is still too easy.

"Age only becomes a barrier if you think about it. There is biological age and there is another that is determined by your state of mind," he said.

Wang first shot to international fame in 2015 after he showed off his toned physique on the runway during China Fashion Week in Beijing. Nearly two years after that incident, the octogenarian is still getting inundated with messages on his Sina Weibo page praising him as "inspiring" and being "the ultimate idol". Wang has more than 300,000 followers on the social networking site.

Today, people refer to him as "China's hottest grandpa", and his admirers extend to even luxury fashion houses. Italian brand Ermenegildo Zegna has featured him in their latest campaign in China called "Defining Moments". It could be considered quite a honor, considering how Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro is part of the global campaign.

In the campaign video that was shot in Milan, Wang is flanked by actor Sunny Wang as he talks about the moment in his life that defined him.

Wang has become such a recognizable figure that his wife has banned him from accepting media interviews in an attempt to maintain their normal lives. As such, his son, who is also his agent, has been secretly arranging for interviews to be done at the gym Wang works out at daily.

A former colleague and friend of Wang described him as someone who can survive even in the depths of hell. Wang's daughter, Wang Qiu, joked that her father is akin to an imperial concubine when it comes to taking care of his body.

Wang's unusual penchant for hardship could be traced to the moment he was born.

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