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Sunday, 3 October 2010

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In the limelight


World’s shortest and tallest men:

The height of fame

The world’s shortest man alive will hold the title only for a short period...

It was only in early September this year that the pint-sized Colombian named Edward Nino Hernandez was crowned the World’s Shortest Man by the officials of the Guinness World Records following the death of He Pingping in March this year at the age of 21.


Former title holder, Bao Xishun.


A replica of the World’s Tallest Man in recorded history - Robert Wadlow.

He Pingping of China was 2 feet 5 inches tall and was recognised as the World’s Shortest Man in 2008. He was born with a form a primordial dwarfism but his lack of height did not stand in the way of reaching heights of popularity and fame. Even though Pingping was living a life of poverty, his life was transformed from the moment he inherited the title in 2008. With his handicap no longer dragging him down, he grew taller and taller, at least in spirit and fame.

His world became one of TV shows and international travel. He led a very busy life and in fact, at the time of his death,he was filming a TV programme called “The Record Show” in Italy. He developed chest problems during shooting and later bid farewell to the world.

Pingping was quite a sensation by that time. To put it in the words of the Editor-in-chief of Guinness World Records, Craig Glenday, “For such a short man, he made a huge impact around the world.”

Then it was time for Edward Nino Hernandez of Bogota, Colombia to come into the limelight...

The 24 year old Hernandez who stands at just 2 feet 3.46 inches (70.21 centimetres) and weighs 22 pounds was officially named the shortest man in the world. He was only 3.3 pounds (1.5 kilograms) and 15 inches (38 centimetres) at birth. The Colombian dancer and actor Hernandez was 1.5 inches shorter than He Pingping. But, for how long will Hernandez be in the limelight as the world’s shortest man? Perhaps just a few more weeks. Now there is another contender for the title.


Future: Khagendra Thapa Magar.


Magar with Tiny Iron.

By mid October this year Hernandez may have lost his crown technically - even though the official verdict may take longer. He’ll hold the title for one issue of the annual Guinness World Record. Who is this new contender for this title? It’s a teenager from Nepal. Dubbed the world’s shortest teenager alive, pint-sized Khagendra Thapa Magar is likely to be awarded the title when he turns 18 on October 14.

Magar’s family had first applied to have him recognised as the World’s Shortest Man when he was just 14 years old but they had been turned down by the officials of the Guinness World Records because there was still a possibility of Magar undergoing a growth spurt as he had not yet reached adulthood. At present Magar is only 22 inches tall. So, with less than a month to go for his eighteenth birthday, Magar twirls in fame creating news wherever he goes.

With the countdown on for Magar to be named the ‘Shortest adult male in the world’, he was recently seen posing for sensational photographs with yet another sensation - a man with the largest biceps (muscles of upper arm) in the United Kingdom.

Tiny Iron who is a body builder is ten years older than Magar (28 yrs) and has biceps which span 24 inches - that’s two inches more than the height of the world’s shortest teenager! Magar is certainly no match for Tiny Iron who weighs 280 lbs. Magar is only 10 pounds. You can see how petite he looks from the pictures given here. The pair were posing for a Ripley’s Believe it or not museum in London’s Picadilly to promote the new book, Ripley’s Enter if You Dare.

Well, we have met three of the world’s shortest men; the past, the present and future title holders. - Pinping, Hernandez and Magar respectively. What about the world’s tallest man?


He Pingping with Sultan Kosen, the world’s tallest man.


Sultan Kosen is 8ft tall
and still grawing.

He comes from Turkey. Born on December 10, 1982 in Madin, Turkey, Sultan Kosen currently holds the title of the world’s tallest man. He is already over eight feet tall and growing - or was at the time of going to press because recently he underwent surgery to stop these abnormal growth spurts caused by a rare hormonal condition. Sultan had begun to grow uncontrollably at the age of eight and by the time he was a teenager, his height had sent him into isolation.

He could not complete his education too. But, he soon became the world’s tallest man and reached heights of fame. When his height was recorded on August 25, 2009 by Guinness World Record, he was 8ft 1,047 inches, overtaking record holder Bao Xishun who was 7ft 8.9 inches tall. Did you know that Sultan Kosen is also the record holder for the world’s longest hands and feet, measuring 27.5 cm and 36.5 respectively? Kosen became the world’s tallest man officially on September 17, 2009.

The Guinness World Records officials organised a meeting between the world’s tallest and shortest men early this year (Pinping was the title holder then) and you can imagine how they felt.

Kosen lives with his family - his parents, three brothers and a sister who are all of normal height. When asked what disadvantages he faces due to his height, Kosen had said, finding clothes and shoes that fit him and getting into a regular sized car. Kosen who enjoys a normal lifestyle despite his abnormal height, playing computer games and helping his family around the house, especially changing bulbs and hanging curtains, dreams of settling down with a wife and family some day.

Sultan Kosen is one of only twelve individuals in medical history to be confirmed at a height of eight feet or more. If the recent surgery he underwent stops his growth spurts, then, Robert Pershing Wadlow (February 22 1918 - July 15, 1940) would continue to be the World’s Tallest Man in recorded history. The American celebrity was also known as the Alton Giant or Giant of Illinoise, because of his upbringing in Alton, Illinoise.

Wadlow reached a height of 8ft 11.1 in (2.72m) and weighed 485 1bs (220kg) at his death at the age of 22. He showed no signs of an end to his growth even at the time of his death, but his size began to take a toll on him and he needed big braces. However, he was never confined to a wheel- chair. He died in his sleep on July 15, 1940 due to an infection that set in from a brace irritation on his ankle.

Facts and pix:Internet


 Past: He Pingping.


Present: Edward Nino Hernandez.

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