biggest athlete in the world
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The Largest Athletes In The World Are Truly Massive
Athletic events have been around for as long as recorded history. Gladiatorial combat gave way to wrestling, Olympics, football, American football, baseball, and a wide range of other sports. Through all of this, we have seen incredible speed, strength, endurance, and the most impressive at first glance, size. Over the rest of this article we are going to look at the largest athletes to enter their field. It isn’t always about height, though, sometimes the athletes can be short, but their size comes in different forms. Read on to see some of the biggest athletes of all time.
The Giant Named Andre
A favorite of the generation that watched him, Andre the Giant was not just a big wrestler for the, then named, WWF, he was a big personality. With a starring role in The Princess Bride and legends surrounding his heavy drinking and rags to riches story, Andre was known more for being a gentle giant than the heel he eventually became close to his retirement from wrestling. At 7’4″ and around 520 lbs, the man made Hulk Hogan (6’7″) look small in their matches.
Boxing is about big men beating each other until one is on the mat or one wins by decision. If you step into a ring and you happen to see a 7 foot tall, almost 330 lb giant, there is likely a few thoughts going through your head, none of them confident. Nikolai “The Russian Giant” Valuev didn’t win simply because he was big. With a 50-2 heavyweight record, he has fought some of the best in the sport, he last career win being a match against the legendary Evander Holyfield.
A super heavyweight fighter known as the Techno Goliath, Korean Colossus, and Korean Monster was a huge success in K-1 kickboxing. At 7’2″ and mid 300 lbs, his talent showed in kickboxing though it didn’t translate as well when he moved to MMA. For those in K-1 kickboxing, though, he is an unforgettable opponent.
Far from one of the tallest people on this list at only 5’11”. Instead, he is a giant in the body building world. While Arnold started the attention to the sport, Coleman elevated it. As an eight time Mr. Olympia winner (a record by the way) and holding a record 26 IFBB wins, he his far from a one trick pony. At 300 lbs, he is a rock when it comes to muscle. His arms alone are 24 inches.
Hockey is a sport of grace, speed and agility. It also has some violence mixed in for good measure. When most people are close in size, someone like Chara, at 6’9″ can seem to have an unfair advantage. As an enforcer, he could pound people into the ice, and he is as tough as they come. The scariest part, though, is for the keepers. His hardest slapshot topped 108.8 mph, which may be the fastest in the world. He also won the hardest shot challenge five years in a row starting in 2007.
The Strongman and MMA slab of stone, Pudzianowski is only 6’1″ and 300 lbs. It seems strange to include him on this list, considering the size and weight of many others. But what makes him so terrifying is the fact that he has won five Strongman competitions and had a successful career in the MMA. His record is 12-4 for MMA fights, which shows that he is more than just a strongman competitor.
Probably one of the most famous athletes on this list, Yoa Ming moved from China to compete in the NBA. He was the number 1 overall draft pick by the Houston Rockets and has not let them down. At 7’6″ he was a giant among giants and played as an All-Star in all but one of his nine NBA seasons. Injuries to his ankle and foot forced him to leave the sport early, but he left a significant legacy.
For those that watched the NFL in the mid 80’s, Perry may be better known as The Refrigerator. Credited as one of the beasts on the ’85 Bears defensive line, his role as a defensive tackle terrified many offensive opponents. He was around 330-340 lbs during his career and a terror for QBs over his 10 seasons. His rookie season had him winning the Super Bowl and made his name famous. To get how big he was, the average ring size for a man is around a 9 or 10. The Fridge had a size 25 Super Bowl ring.
Butterbean. Eric Esch is not a household name until you say that name. Becoming known as a legendary fighter, Butterbean was more than just a boxer. He wasn’t the ideal size or shape for what you would expect, but he could destroy opponents. At 5’11” and 425 lbs, there was a ton of weight behind each swing. When he retired from boxing, he left a 77-10-4 record. He then moved in to MMA with a 17-10 record and 3-4 record in kickboxing. He could take a beating just as easily as he could pound it out, if not better.
John Scott defined what it meant to be an enforcer in the NHL. At 6’8″, he stood shoulders above the other players. When it came to protecting the little guy, Scott was the guy that you wanted in your corner. His size alone made it extremely scary to consider throwing gloves and entering fisticuffs.
When it comes to sports, size does matter…usually. And these athletes win on sheer size alone. Let’s find out who is the largest athlete of all time, and how big they really are.
Nataliya Kuznetsova – 5’7″, 225 lb
Meet Nataliya Kuznetsova — a professional female bodybuilder from Russia. At just 29 years old, not only does Kuznetsova hold the world titles for arm lifting, bench press, and deadlifts but she’s also a proud champion of the European bench press and deadlift titles. Kuznetsova began powerlifting when she was only 14 years old in an attempt to gain muscle mass. In 2013, this powerhouse of a woman graduated from Moscow State Academy of Physical Culture. Today, she lives in Moscow with her husband, Vladislav Kuznetsov.
Holley Mangold – 415 lbs
Weighing in at 415 pounds, Holley Mangold is one of biggest female weightlifters of all time and has certainly spent many hours in the gym. Starting her career in 2008, Mangold eventually represented the U.S. team at the 2012 London Olympics and has a personal weightlifting record of 562.2 pounds. However, Holley isn’t the only Mangold to compete at a professional level. Her brother, Nick Mangold, has played as a football center for the New York Jets. Holley currently coaches the Dayton Barbell Club in Beavercreek, Ohio.
Maria Sharapova – 6’2″
People often forget that Maria Yuryevna Sharapova is actually one of the tallest female tennis players in the game. Born in Russia, she moved to the U.S. in the early 90s and since 2001, worked hard at her local gym and fitness center and has been a consistent fixture in the WTA tour. Her career can be summed up as somewhat of a paradox. Although her time on the court has been marred by numerous injuries, she has made multiple comebacks and is still playing professionally to this day.
Konishiki Yasokichi – 633 lb
Officially the biggest rikishi ever to grace the world of sumo wrestling, Konishiki Yasokichi received nicknames such as “Dump Truck” and “Meat Bomb” because of his incredible peak weight of 633lb. Fans weren’t used to seeing foreigners (athletes from outside of Japan) succeeding in the sport. The man from Honolulu, Hawaii, didn’t need a professional personal fitness trainer to become so victorious. He won the top division three times and nearly became the first foreign yokozuna, or grand champion.
Margo Dydek – 7’2″
There is no doubt that former basketball player Margo Dydek worked out a lot to achieve so much in the WNBA. The woman from Warsaw, Poland was officially the tallest professional player to grace the court. She’ll be best remembered for playing center position for the Connecticut Sun. Later on in her career, she worked in the Queensland Basketball League, coaching the Northside Wizards. Tragically, Dydek passed away on May 27, 2011. She had suffered a heart attack a week beforehand and was in the early stages of pregnancy with her third child.
Emmanuel “Tiny” Yarbrough – 6’7″
His nickname is undoubtedly misleading to Emmanuel Yarbrough’s commanding stature. His sport of choice was sumo wrestling and rightly so—his size suited it. Yarbrough topped the scales at 828 lbs., and in the process earned a Guinness World Record for the heaviest athlete alive. His exploits weren’t only in sumo wrestling. Emmanuel tried his hand in mixed martial arts and even judo. In the latter, he achieved brown belt status and a silver medal at the US Nationals.
Stefan Struve – 7ft
UFC fighter Stefan Struve has been nicknamed the Skyscraper, and for a good reason. After maintaining a serious gym workout routine, the Dutchman is officially the tallest fighter on the company’s entire roster. Although he lost his debut match against Junior dos Santos at UFC 95, Struve has gone on to win an impressive 28 of his 37 matches, including 8 by knockout. The MMA athlete lost his most recent bout against Alexander Volkov. However, Struve isn’t letting this loss dishearten him and intends to bounce back very soon.
The Tree Man – 6’7″
One of the biggest athletes of the modern era has made a name for himself through social media and is referred to as “The Fearsome Tree Man.” The story behind the name is pretty simple. A user on Twitter noticed a picture of the 6’7 man with a personal trainer certification and compared his stature to that of a huge tree. “This [is] not a man, this [is] a tree,” the user tweeted. Danny Jones from Southern California must be thoroughly happy with his recent publicity.