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Chumlee of ‘Pawn Stars’ pursues weight loss through surgery

I had a chance meeting at a Golden Knights game this week, and it wasn’t with the team’s Gila monster mascot.
No, I ran into Austin “Chumlee” Russell on the elevator at T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday night, during the third period of the Golden Knights’ game against the Calgary Flames (which they eventually won 7-3). The doors opened, and there was Chum, wearing his VGK jersey, matching hat and mischievous grin.
What makes Chumlee so fascinating is that you never know how to respond to even the most routine question. Example from Wednesday:
Me: “How’s it going?”
Chum: “I just got gastric sleeve surgery!”
About this, Chumlee is not joking. The co-star of History’s “Pawn Stars” series has what we call a NASDAQ weight program. It’s up and down. He weighed upwards of 320 pounds as recently as five years ago, then dropped to 225 in 2014, but has seen the scale creep back up ever since.
The 35-year-old cable sensation decided to have the stomach size-reducing surgery Feb. 15 and on Wednesday said he’d lost about 10 pounds. His target is 170.
In early 2014, Chumlee’s friend and fellow “Pawn Star” Corey Harrison underwent lap-band surgery and dropped nearly 200 pounds, going from a little more than 400 pounds to about 210. Harrison has kept the weight off ever since.
In his own weight-loss campaign, Chumlee says he plans to hang a poster of Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, for post-surgery fitness motivation.
“I want abs like that!” Chumlee says. “And I want a Brazilian butt-lift.”

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