Saturday, April 17, 1999

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
State Sen. Jonathan Chun did chin-ups during an
athletic contest with House members yesterday.
Chun, a Kauai Democrat, managed to perform
27 chin-ups. The event in the state Capitol courtyard
raised funds for the Hawaii Foodbank.

House-Senate test
of muscle pumps
up the donors

By Mike Yuen


It wasn't Wrestlemania '99, although state Sen. Jonathan Chun flashed into view with frenzied hand gestures and in shorts, tank top and black cape.

Nor was it the weird world of multi- tattooed and multipierced Dennis Rodman, although Sen. Matt Matsunaga arrived in the workout gear of the Los Angeles Lakers, which had released Rodman a day earlier.

It was a House-Senate fitness competition yesterday.

Chin-ups. Dips. The supremacy of muscle, not intellect. And it was to benefit the Hawaii Foodbank.

In the courtyard of the Capitol, with nearly 300 state workers and lobbyists looking down from the second to fifth floors, Chun and Matsunaga faced off against sedately dressed Reps. Brian Schatz and Nestor Garcia, both of whom favored aloha shirts and trousers -- most of the time.

Using an exercise apparatus that has been in Matsunaga's office the past year, the 42-year-old Chun (D, Lihue) did 27 chin-ups, nine more than the 26-year-old Schatz (D, Makiki).

Preferring to compete bare-chested, the 42-year-old Garcia -- buff but with mini-love handles -- abandoned his aloha shirt. He managed to do 39 dips, the exercise in which arm strength is needed to lift one's body up and down. But Matsunaga, 40, did two more and won.

Perhaps Garcia (D, Waikele) could have avoided defeat if he had also taken off his trousers. Less weight, you know. Speedos might have made a difference. After all, Matsunaga (D, Palolo) was in shorts.

While the Senate triumphed, the biggest winner was the Hawaii Foodbank. Through pledges the four competitors got, $2,484.70 is heading into the food bank's coffers.

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