Emmanuel Yarborough – sumo, judo, mixed martial arts
Yarborough is the heaviest athlete in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records. Usually people weighing 400 kg do not play sports, especially as active as martial arts. Even against the background of the majority of sumo wrestlers, the two-meter-old Yarborough looked like a real giant, thus, apparently, causing terror to the opponents. In the ability to use their weight, despite some clumsiness, Yarborough is difficult to refuse. Otherwise, how would he become the world sumo champion in 1995, and in 1989 he took second place in the US Judo Championship? At the same time, Emmanuel conducted three fights in MMA. He remembered the fans because he managed to knock out the cage door with one of his opponents and forced the other to surrender, simply falling on him. In 2007, the giant survived a heart attack, and doctors strongly recommended him to lose weight, but the largest athlete in the world, apparently, did not follow the advice of doctors
Edward Beaupre – wrestling
Everyone is accustomed to the fact that the highest athletes in the world play basketball, where growth is essential. However, the tallest athlete in the world, perhaps never even took the ball in his hands, because he was engaged in circus and wrestling. Meet Canadian Edward Beaupre, whose height was about 2.51 meters. As a child, Bopre dreamed of being a rider, but the dream did not come true: sitting on a horse, the giant reached out to the ground with his feet. The consolation for Edward was the struggle, including the circus, which brought considerable income. Beaupre did not achieve much success in the sports field, and indeed his fate can hardly be called enviable: at 23, he died of tuberculosis, and his embalmed body was exposed for some time to be seen by everyone. From the second place in the list of the highest athletes went basketball players: Sunn Minmin, who plays in China (236 cm), as well as Gheorghe Mureshan and Manute Bol, whose height was 231 cm.
Manute Bol – Basketball
About Manuta worth mentioning separately. He was not only the highest basketball player in NBA history, but also the skinniest, with an amazing height-to-weight ratio: 100 kg at 232 cm. At the same time, Bol left his mark in the history of the league not only because of his eerie appearance and gigantic growth, which allowed before the ring, not even bouncing. The fact is that Manute was a recognized master of block shots – with his height, it was not too difficult to cover other shots. The Sudanese to this day remains the only player in the history of the NBA, who blocked more shots (2086) than scored points (1599). Manute’s playing career in the United States lasted almost 10 years: from 1985 to 1994. After graduation, Bol went to his homeland, where he worked in charity and human rights organizations. The athlete passed away due to severe skin disease in 2010 at the age of 47.
Jacob Matlala – boxing
Since we remembered the biggest athletes in the world, we should also mention those who were not famous for their height or overweight. Among others, it should be noted 160-centimeter basketball player Tyrone Bogz – the smallest player in the history of the NBA, included, however, in the list of the best league assistants in its history. But the smallest world champion is another athlete – South African boxer Jacob Matlala, whose height was only 147 centimeters. Baby Jake, despite the very modest physical data, was able to become one of the country’s outstanding athletes, having won two championship belts – in the lightest and first lightweight category according to the WBO version. In 2013, Baby Jacob passed away at the age of 51
Stanislava Valasevich – athletics
The sports world is occasionally shaken by the scandals associated with the difficulties of determining the sex of athletes. This usually applies to women who are so strong that they are suspected that they are in fact men. The recent history of Caster Semenya is just one of such examples. However, the most famous scandals of this kind belong to the 30s of the last century. German Dora Ratien, who set the world record in high jump in 1938, was deprived of this record after a medical examination, and soon officially recognized that this was a man. A similar fate awaited the Czech runner Zhden Kubkov. But the most famous incident of this kind occurred with the Pole Stanislava Valasevich. The Olympic champion of the games of 1932 also had male sexual characteristics, but this became known only in the 1980s, when the athlete was killed during a robbery.
George Eyser – Artistic Gymnastics
All the cases described above are all kinds of diseases or abnormalities that the person himself could not influence in any way. But after all, the history of world sports also knows outstanding people with disabilities who competed on equal terms with healthy rivals. All fans of athletics Oscar Pistorius, who won the silver medal at the World Championships in Daegu with prostheses, are well known. It is a pity that now he is better known as the hero of the crime chronicle. However, there was a guy in the story and more abruptly than Oscar. American athlete George Eyser at the 1904 Olympics won six awards, performing with a wooden prosthesis instead of a leg. Eyser especially distinguished himself in gymnastics: he became an Olympic champion in the vault, exercises on the uneven bars and rope climbing. In addition to the three gold medals, he put in his piggy bank two more silver and bronze, which to this day allow him to remain the most titled athlete with disabilities in the history of the Olympic Games.