The Ukrainian Leonid StadnykBye bye, Bao! The previous holder of the title "The tallest living man", a Chinese citizen of Mongolian ethnic root, Bao Xishun, with his 2.36m (7ft 9in) height, is a dwarf compared to the new record holder.
The Ukrainian man Leonid Stadnyk, 37, has been recognized as the world's tallest living person by the Guinness Book of Records. Stadnyk was measured to have 2.57m (8ft 5in) in height. The difference in height between him and the Chinese is quite notable: 22cm (8in)!
Stadnyk is a former veterinarian from Podolyantsi (central Ukraine). He started to grow rapidly at the age of 14, when a brain operation reportedly turned on his pituitary gland. Bao had just overtaken in 2006 a Tunisian man, Radhouane Charbib, but with just 2mm difference. The Ukrainian has claimed the title for the world's tallest man before, but his record was not checked as he rejected several times to be measured by the Guinness Book of Records.
His parents are quite short: his father is 1.73m (5ft 8in) tall and his mother 1.52m (5ft). He grew in a tiny village 209km (130 miles) west of the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, and as a child, Stadnyk was rather short.
His teenage brain operation was meant to relieve hydrocephalus, an overaccumulation of liquid in the brain, and following that, he experienced the growth spurt. When he took his vet license and started working at a clinic an hour away, Stadnyk was already 2.03m (6ft 8in) tall.
His bike remained too small for him and he had to start taking the bus. After a while, he was too tall for the bus, and he had to go to work using the family's horse-drawn cart. Stadnyk had to give up his job six years ago, after his feet were frostbitten due to the fact that he did not have proper shoes for his size 64 feet.
Now his occupation is farming (livestock and vegetables) on the family farm in Podolyantsi. Still, Stadnyk is 15cm (6in) shorter than the tallest man ever: Robert Wadlow from Illinois (US), which was 2.72m (8ft 11in) tall when he died, in 1940.