SARASOTA (FOX 13) - At the Sarasota County Jail, Lieutenant Johnny Yong works 12-hour shifts making sure everything runs smoothly. But before he put on his law enforcement uniform, he wore one of another kind.
The lieutenant was born into a family of acrobats. He traveled the world performing for royalty, but at the age of 47, he began something new and went to work at the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.
"One of my friends told me, 'Johnny, it's time for you to come off the road and fall back onto something for your later years,'" he said.
Today, at 81 years old, he's Florida's oldest corrections deputy.
Then, after joining the sheriff's office, he found another calling. A co-worker asked him to lift weights.
"I benched 300 pounds the first time I ever benched. He looked at me and said, 'Are you telling me the truth, That you've never weight-lifted?'" he recalled.
He credits his strength to his days as an acrobat. Since then, he's entered competitions and won. He usually comes in first place.
"When I always compete, I always get nervous. I get butterflies. I want to make sure I put the first lift in," said Lt. Yong.
He has broken records over the years. At 71, he bench-pressed 440 pounds.
"I used show off when things were going bad. They found out I could rip phone books so I started ripping yellow pages and all the inmates would say, 'You better not mess with Lt. Yong because he's going to tear your head off,'" he joked.
At 81, nothing is stopping him. One large medal sitting on his desk proves he's a world champion. He won the title for his age group last week, after bench pressing 250 pounds at a world competition in Las Vegas -- proving age doesn't mean a thing.
"You've got to follow through. You've got to keep working at it," he added.