Worlds Tallest Man

Tallest Man In the World-Ukrainian Leonid Stadnyk

He has spent years shrinking away from the limelight and at school his nickname was 'titch' because he was so tiny.

But Ukrainian Leonid Stadnyk has now officially become the world's tallest man standing at a towering 8ft 5ins in tall.

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Measuring an impressive 8ins taller than the previous record holder, Mongolia's Bao Xishun, it has long been suspected that Stadnyk should hold the official title of the world's tallest man.

But until now the 37-year-old former veterinarian has always refused to be officially measured for the Guinness Book of Records as he hates his height and didn't want to be famous.

The towering giant who lives in Podoliantsi, a tiny village in Ukraine has called his height 'God's biggest punishment for me' and refuses to look in the mirror.

His extraordinary growth spurt started at the age of 14 after surgery on a benign brain tumour stimulated his pituitary gland, which is responsible for generating the hormones that boost growth.

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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.

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.

Leonid Stadnyk's size 64 shoes

Mr Stadnyk has a lot of trouble buying shoes to fit his feet

However, after having an operation to relieve hydrocephalus, which causes the brain to swell with fluid, he began a massive growth spurt.

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. 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.

He now tends to his mother's livestock and grows vegetables on their farm in Podolyantsi.

But Mr Stadnyk still has 15cm (6in) to grow if he is to match the tallest man in history.

Robert Wadlow, from the US state of Illinois, measured 2.72m (8ft 11in) when he died in 1940.

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