Erwin Jaskulski, 103, track athlete
Even fitness guru Gilad Janklowicz was impressed the first time he saw Erwin Jaskulski more than 20 years ago.
"I saw him on the beach doing some incredible feats of exercise, standing on his head, running, doing pushups," said Janklowicz, host and producer of the "Gilad's Bodies in Motion" TV show. "I thought he was in his mid-60s. Then I found out he was 82 years old."
From that day, a "really incredible, unusual friendship developed" that lasted until Jaskulski's death March 10 at the age of 103.
Janklowicz often would go on hikes with Jaskulski, a Hawai'i resident since 1954. The two last spoke the day before he died.
"He was a very, very fascinating man," Janklowicz said. "(We'd) talk about different things, music, sports, philosophy, ways of life, about every possible subject."
According to Janklowicz, Jaskulski was an avid classical music fan, but his main philosophy "was to be happy and joyful in life." Whenever Janklowicz saw Jaskulski working out the elder would say, "'I'm exercising my joy muscles.' "
At one time, Jaskulski held the world record for the 100 meters, 200 meters and 400 meters in both the 95- to 99-year-old and the 100-plus age groups.
Janklowicz called Jaskulski "an inspiration" because of his commitment and discipline.
"Even at 101 he would talk to me about his techniques and how he could improve his time."
Jaskulski is survived by two sons, both of whom live in Austria, according to Janklowicz. Services are pending.