Obama signs autograph for young fan during holiday gym visit

HONOLULU Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:40pm EST

1 of 2. Ten year-old Krystin Lavelle, on vacation with her family from Toronto Canada, holds up an autograph from U.S. President Barack Obama she received during Obama's visit to Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe, Hawaii December 24, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

HONOLULU (Reuters) - Ten year-old Krystin Lavelle got a surprise on Tuesday when she accompanied her uncle Rob to the gym at Marine Corps Base Hawaii: an autograph from the president.

Barack Obama is not her president since she is from Toronto, Canada. Still, she was happy to score Obama's signature in her journal. Obama wrote, "To Krystin - Dream big dreams!" and his name.

Her Uncle Rob, a U.S. Navy officer who declined to give his last name to reporters, said Obama, 52 and a noted gym rat, looked "very fit" during a Christmas Eve workout.

The president was doing free weights, followed by stretches, and finished with Pilates on the mat. Walking out of the gym Obama grabbed a basketball and shot a few baskets.

Reporters were not allowed to witness Obama's gym exploits but caught up with the Lavelles at a nearby McDonald's for a debriefing.

"His motorcade parked right up at the gym, and he made a beeline to the fence to greet people there," the Naval officer said. Obama, who was born in Hawaii, paid homage to his other hometown by sporting a Chicago White Sox baseball cap.

The Lavelles are vacationing at a home not far from the Obama family's upscale rental in Kailua, about 15 miles from Honolulu.

Krystin gave a flower to Obama, who said he would give it to his wife. "He said he'd tell her that he picked them," Lavelle said.

(Reporting by Ikaika Hussey, editing by Ros Krasny and Cynthia Osterman)

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