Small meets Tall

Worlds Apart:

July 15, 2007

Photo: According to the organiser of the meeting, it was Mr He's long-cherished dream to meet the world's tallest man

The world's tallest man has met one of the world's smallest in China.

Bao Xishun, a 56 year-old herdsman from Inner Mongolia, is the world's tallest man and measures 2.36m (7ft 9) tall.

Meanwhile, He Pingping is applying to be entered in the Guinness World Record as the world's shortest adult, standing at a mere 73cm (2ft 4).

According to the organiser of the meeting, it was Mr He's long-cherished dream to meet Mr Bao.

In March, Mr Bao married saleswoman Xia Shujian, who stands a rather average 1.68m (5ft 6), after a global search for a suitable bride.

They celebrated a traditional Mongolian wedding in the tomb of Kublai Khan on Thursday.

Mr Bao was confirmed as the world's tallest living man by Guinness World Records last year. He overtook the previous holder, Radhouane Charbib of Tunisia, by just 2mm.

Guinness World Records says Mr Bao was of normal height until 16 but then put on a spurt that doctors were unable to explain, reaching his full height in seven years.

But Mr Bao is far shorter than Robert Pershing Wadlow, from Illinois in the US, who died in 1940 aged 22 and stood at a massive 8ft 11.1ins (2.72m).


World's Tallest Man Sweeps Bride Off Her Feet at

Standing at 7 foot 9 inches and towering over his new wife the world's tallest man married a woman two-thirds his size and almost half his age in a traditional Mongolian ceremony sponsored by at least 15 companies hoping to cash in on his fame.
Hundreds of people, some travelling for hours, turned up to see Bao, 59, wed saleswoman Xia Shujuan, a mere 5 foot 6 inches tall and just 29 years old.

Draped in a shimmering blue silk coat, Bao waved to the crowd before going into an enormous yurt where guests ate lamb and cheese and watched Mongolian song and dance shows.


Photo: Big day: Bao Xishun at his wedding (Getty Images: China Photos)


The bride's attendants pretended to prevent Bao from getting into the camp, following the Mongolian tradition. Relatives from the bride's family offered the traditional Mongolian tea to Bao and Bao accepted the tea happily, which symbolised that the world's tallest man has been accepted as son-in-law of the bride's family.


Photo: Unveiling: World's tallest man comes face to face to his bride


"If we can have children, we'll have children," Bao said before the wedding. "If not, then not. If we have a child, I hope he or she can be about 2 metres tall. Then he or she can play basketball."

Xia said she was madly in love.

"You need to have feelings for someone to be in love. Even if he is a big shot, you can't love him without feelings," Xia said.


Photo: Unveiling: World's tallest man comes face to face to his bride

Bao was confirmed as the world's tallest living man by Guinness World Records last year. He overtook the previous holder, Radhouane Charbib of Tunisia, by just 2 mm.

The Guinness World Records says Bao was of normal height until 16 but then put on a spurt that doctors were unable to explain, reaching his full height in seven years.

He put out marriage advertisements around the world, but ended up wedding somebody from his home town, Chifeng.
Bao and his wife were legally married in March, but wanted to also have an authentic Mongolian ceremony.

Photo: Tall order: The bride-to-be's family offer Bao Xishun tea as part of the traditional Mongolian ceremony
Photo: Big day: Bao Xishun who stands at 7 ft 9 prepares to marry his 5 ft 6 bride


More than two thousand people including relatives of Bao and his bride, local people and reporters witnessed the traditional wedding.

After a career in the army, where he was recruited for a basketball team, he returned to Inner Mongolia. He now herds livestock and hires himself out for publicity stunts.

In December, Bao saved the lives of two dolphins by reaching deep into their stomachs with his 1.06 metre long arm to pull out pieces of plastic, according to Chinese media.

Because of his fame, Inner Mongolia decided to turn the wedding into a branding event.

"He has a very good image among us in Inner Mongolia," said Bao's agent, Xin Xing. "We plan to use his name as a brand to develop tourism. We want to better help and serve our hometown."

Everything from the alcohol drunk at the wedding to the shoes Bao wore were sponsored by a different company. One firm made a 2.9-metre blanket of camel hair just for the marriage.



Photo: Big day: Bao Xishun at his wedding (Getty Images: China Photos)

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