Tallest person in the world is Ukrainian Leonid Stadnik
[Aug 9] KIEV, Ukraine--A Ukrainian man is the tallest person in
the world at 8 feet 5 inches (2.57m), overshadowing a Chinese man
who previously held the title.
Leonid Stadnik harnesses his horse in the village of Podoliantsy,
Ukraine's northwestern Zhytomyr region, 212 kilometers (131.74 miles)
west of the capital Kiev.(Efrem Lukatsky/AP Photo) (click here
to enlarge photo)
Stadnik's growth spurt started at age 14 after
a brain operation apparently stimulated his pituitary gland, which
produces the human growth hormone.
* Latest medical test showed that he has stopped growing has a good health now - making him the Tallest Healthy Man.
All other similar records are stll due to an abnormality of the pituitary gland in the brain, causing continual growth of their body.
He lives with his mother, Halyna, in northwestern
Ukraine, taking care of the family's house and garden. Photo: Olena Stadnyk looks on as her son Leonid Stadnyk
swings on a fence near their house in Podolyantsi. (Reuters: Gleb
Garanich) (click here to
Born to parents who were 1.73m (5ft 8in) and 1.52m
(5ft) tall in a tiny village 209km (130 miles) west of the capital,
Kiev, Mr Stadnyk was not unusually large as a young boy.
Mr Stadnyk has claimed to be the world's tallest
man before, but his record was not verified because he repeatedly
refused to be measured by the Guinness Book of Records.
By the time he had qualified as a vet and begun
working at a clinic an hour away, Mr Stadnyk measured 2.03m (6ft
8in). He soon outgrew his bike and began taking the bus.
President Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine, left, shaking hands with
Leonid Stadnik, 36, who is believed to be the world's tallest man
at 2.57 meters, or 8 feet, 5.5 inches. (AP Photo/Mykhailo Markiv,
(click here to enlarge
He later became too large for the bus and had
to use the family's horse-drawn cart.
Mr Stadnyk had to give up his job six years ago, after
his feet were frostbitten because he could not afford proper shoes
for his size 64 feet.
Stadnik, a 37-year-old former veterinarian, is 8 inches taller (20
centimetres) than the former titleholder, China's Bao Xishun, who
measured 7 feet 9 inches.
his recognition by Ukrainian record keepers four years ago, and
by Guinness in 2007, people from all over Ukraine and the world
have shipped him outsized clothing, provided his home with running
water and recently presented him with a giant bicycle. Photo: Ukrainian veterinarian, Leonid Stadnik, 2.57
m (8 feet 5 inches) tall, the world's tallest living man, rides
a bicycle specially made for him, in the village of Podoliantsy,
Ukraine's northwestern Zhytomyr region, 212 km west of the capital
Kiev on March 23, 2008. Stadnik's growth spurt started at age 14
after a brain operation apparently stimulated his pituitary gland.
Stadnik, 37, is still growing up. (AP)
"Thanks to good people I have shoes and clothes," said
the 37-year-old former veterinarian, who still lives with his 66-year-old
...He's got a new car now, courtesy of Ukrainian
President Viktor Yushchenko. He went to Kiev this week to take charge
of the super-size van. (enlarge
Stadnik at first struggled to squeeze into the
passenger's seat, his knees nearly reaching his face.
Once in, Mr Yushchenko briefly drove the beaming Stadnik
around. Local authorities have promised to supply fuel. Photo:
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko speaks with Ukrainian Leonid
Stadnik, the world's tallest man, measuing 2.55 meters, in Kiev,
24 March 2008.
Ukrainian president presented Leonid Stadnik with a
car which was specially adapted for him by Ukrainian corporation
Autozaz-Daewoo. EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO(enlarge photo)
"In this car I will be able to drive more and to travel more, as
I very much enjoy travelling ," Stadnyk told reporters. (enlarge
A lack of a driver's license would not deter
him from spending time behind the wheel, he said.
"For now someone will have to drive me," Stadnyk
said. "But I will 'resolve' the question of a driver's license soon."
A German man who said he was his distant relative
invited Stadnik for a visit several years ago. On the trip, Stadnik
got to sample frog legs in an elegant restaurant and saw a roller
coaster in an amusement park — both for the first time.
Shortly after that, Stadnik came home one day
and saw a brand-new computer connected to the Web sitting on his
desk — a gift from a local Internet provider. Company workers "sneaked
into the house like little spies" to install the equipment, Stadnik
Since then he has made numerous online friends,
including several in the United States, Australia and Russia. Stadnik
hopes to learn English so he can communicate better with his Anglophone
contacts; currently, he relies on computer translations, which he
says are often inadequate.
To keep his height and weight in check, a Russian
engineer has developed a body-building machine, which suits tall
people. The Russian engineer, Aleksander Barshulyak, said, "the
aim of this machine is to train leg muscles and the strength of
the joints." Stadnyk said, "I have problems with my weight and my
legs tire often. I think this is normal for me, but I am working
on this. I train myself. And this body-building machine that was
presented to me will help me fight my aches."
Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko's
personal tailor has made Stadnik two tracksuits .
Local authorities have also promised to supply gas
to Stadnik's village, 200 km west of the capital, Kiev. On Sunday,
a local organisation for the disabled gave Stadnik a giant bike
so he can pedal to the grocery store, which is in a nearby village.
The group also presented Stadnik with a fitness machine.
have always dreamt that my life and the life of my loved ones...
would become more comfortable," Stadnik said. "My dream is coming
His neighbours joke that they may also benefit
from Stadnik's success. "Of course we are proud of him — we may
have gas here soon thanks to him," said Nila Kravchuk, 75.
Since he quit his job, Stadnik has concentrated
on managing the family garden and taking care of his three cows,
one horse and assorted pigs and chickens. He lives with his mother
Halyna, 66, and his sister Larysa, 42.
Stadnik says his dream now is finding a soul
mate, just like the former titleholder, China's Bao Xishun, who
was married in 2007. "I think the future holds that for me," he
The tallest man in medical history was
Illinois native Robert Pershing Wadlow, who was 8 feet 11 inches
and died in 1940 at the age of 22.