Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Leonid Stadnyk (born 1971 in Zhytomyr Oblast, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union) is a controversial claimant to the status of the world's tallest living man. He is a certified veterinarian and veterinary surgeon and lives with his mother in the village of Podolyantsi, Ukraine. He claims to be 2.53 meters (8 feet 4 inches) tall, weighs about 200 kg (440 pounds) (April, 2004) but has stopped growing, because the tumor in his pituitary gland which caused him to grow so large has disappeared. He also claims to have the largest palm size recorded, at 31 centimeters (12¼ inches) long. These claims have not been independently verified.
Leonid Stadnyk's excessive growth began after brain surgery when he was 13 years old. He developed a pituitary gland tumor which caused the gland to secrete large amounts of growth hormone, resulting in what doctors describe as acromegalic gigantism.
Although claiming to be the tallest man in the world, he refused to be measured by Guinness World Records.
A number of people claim to be tallest, but unless they are measured three times in 24 hours, they cannot be considered for the category. Leonid Stadnyk refuses to be measured by us. We have been told that it is because he doesn't want to court publicity — yet he continues to claim to be the tallest. Unfortunately we can only conclude due to previous experience, that he refuses to be measured officially by us because he is not the height he claims to be.
Guinness currently recognizes Bao Xishun, at 2.361 meters (7 feet 8.95 inches), as the world's tallest living human being.
Most recently, a Pravda news report in Spring 2006 reported that Leonid Stadnyk grew 2 centimeters (about one inch) in the last year, not accounting the time between the original Spring 2004 report and Spring 2005. Therefore Stadnyk would have to be at least 2.56 meters (8 feet 5 inches) and possibly taller. According to Pravda, his health is slowly failing in that he needs to hold on to limbs of trees and the side of his house to walk about. Also a group of Ukraine business people donated a satellite dish and a computer to Stadnyk and now he is on the Internet.