LIFESTYLE

Little Man, Big Dreams

Edward Niño Hernández, a 24-year-old from Colombia, captured the world’s attention earlier this year after he became the world’s smallest man. But his reign in the record books lasted only a few weeks – and he’s not happy to see it end.

“I’ve really enjoyed being the smallest man in the world for a time,” he said. “I’ve been proud of it.”

The pint-sized Latino, who stands all of 27 inches and weighs a mere 22 pounds, was bumped off the list on Thursday, when a teenager in Nepal turned 18 years old. Niño towers over Khagendra Thapa Magar of Napal by a mere half inch.

But Niño wants everyone to know even though he is reluctantly giving up his title, he’s not bitter.

“I realize someone shorter than me will take my position in the Guinness (Book of World Records), but I’m happy to pass on the title to Khangendra,” he said. “I hope soon we get to meet in person.”

Thapa, who is 26.4 inches tall, was previously already recognized by Guinness as the world’s shortest teen. On Thursday, a Guinness representative officially measured Khangendra in Nepal. He was measured three times over a 10-hour period.

Meanwhile, Niño said he has grand plans for his future – even though he will no longer be a titleholder. He said he wants to promote the iPad for Apple and Steve Jobs, or promote Microsoft for Bill Gates.

“Or, I want to act with famous actors like Tom Cruise or Jennifer Aniston, or dance in videos with Rhianna or 50 Cent, “ he said.

Niño, who weighed only 3.3 pounds and measured 15 inches long at birth, is actually 1.5 inches shorter than was He Pingping of China, the record-holder before him. But he was only discovered by Guinness officials after He’s death, and so didn't become the title holder until September.

“It changed my life 180 degrees,” Niño said. “It opened doors for me. The world got to know me. It was a big step in my life.

Niño, whose family does not know why he is so small, has earned cash dancing at department stores and had bit roles in films. Recently, he’s had to put his entertainment career on hold because of an eye surgery, he said. But at the end of the month, he expects to be back in the limelight.

One of his first orders of business, he said, is to travel the world – he’s never ventured outside of Colombia. He said he’s received plenty of invitations to visit countries around the world.

But the only invitation he’s ever wanted has eluded him.

“The United States has not called me, but I really want to get to know it,” he said. “I really hope to go to America soon.”