When you are the tallest man in the world, some family chores are easier than others.
“They use my height to change light bulbs and hang curtains,” Sultan Kosen explained.
Standing at 8 feet, 1 inch tall, however, popping out to the shops is a little harder.
“I can’t fit in a normal car,” Kosen said. “I can’t go shopping like normal people. I have to get clothes made specially, and I don’t always get what’s fashionable. And going through doors I always have to bend down.”
But, newly crowned by Guinness World Records as the tallest man in the world, Kosen, from Mardin in southeast Turkey, is hoping that life will become a little easier.
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“The first thing I want is a car I can fit into,” he said. “More than that, I want to get married. It’s really difficult to find a girlfriend. They are usually scared of me.”
Stares and cricked necks greeted his arrival in London, and he played havoc with perspective as he walked slowly from Tower Bridge. Waiting children were astonished as he loomed larger and larger.
"He’s like a tower on legs,” said Marley Bradbury, 9. “He probably needs lampposts as walking sticks.”
Job Henderson, 11, was “shocked” at Kosen’s feet which, at 14.3 inches long, are also officially the world’s largest — as are his hands, at 10.8 inches long.
Neither child wanted to grow up to be so big. “You couldn’t really run or jump or anything,” Marley said.
But as a child, Kosen was no taller than his peers. “At 10 years old they noticed I was getting really tall. I went to the doctor and discovered I had a tumor and it was causing me to grow.”
His pituitary gland, damaged by the tumor, was producing too much growth hormone and Kosen became taller and taller. When other children were little more than 4 feet, he was already well over 6 feet tall.
“The kids used to tease me and it was very difficult. But now I am really proud of being tall,” he said.
It was not until the tumor was removed in an operation last year that Kosen finally stopped growing.