Igor Vovkovinskiy, crowned the tallest living man in the US by Guinness World Records in 2010, died Friday at 38, said his mother, Svetlana Vovkovinska.
Vovkovinskiy was 7 feet, 8.33 inches tall, according to Guinness. He died in a hospital from heart disease with his mom and brother by his side, according to a Facebook post on Saturday by Svetlana. Just hours before his death, Vovkovinskiy was able to spend time with his brother’s family and had his last dinner, which was a piece of Kyiv cake and Fanta, his mother said.
Vovkovinskiy moved from Ukraine to Rochester, Minnesota, in 1989, for medical treatment, according to his Facebook page. He was born with pituitary gigantism, according to a TV segment he did on “The Dr. Oz Show” in 2010.
During that segment, Guinness World Record officials measured Vovkovinskiy’s height and crowned him the new Tallest Living Man in America. He was 27 years old at the time and beat out the previous record holder, Virginia deputy sheriff George Bell, by a third of an inch, according to Guinness.
“It feels good to finally have proof that I am the Tallest Man in America,” said Vovkovinskiy in 2010. “Everyone is always asking me if I’m certain that I’m the tallest and I was never able to prove it. Now that I have this certificate to hang on my wall, I could finally show it!”
He wore a shoe size 24 10-E, said Guinness, and faced daily challenges of fitting into cars and finding comfortable shoes.
His funeral home online obituary stated that the enjoyed spending time with friends and family, occasionally fishing and traveling. A memorial service will be on Saturday with a burial at a later date.
Guinness says the tallest living man in the world is Sultan Kosen from Turkey, who measures 8 feet, 2.8 in tall. The tallest man in medical history for whom there is irrefutable evidence is Robert Pershing Wadlow, according to Guinness. Wadlow was from Illinois and measured 8 feet, 11.1 in tall. He died in 1940.
The study, conducted by 39 scientists and researchers with the World Weather Attribution (WWA) project, also found that the most extreme rain was a once-in-400-year event, and that climate change increased the intensity of daily extreme rainfall by 3% to 19%.
“These floods have shown us that even developed countries are not safe from severe impacts of extreme weather that we have seen and known to get worse with climate change,” Friederike Otto, the associate director of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford, said in a statement. “This is an urgent global challenge and we need to step up to it. The science is clear and has been for years.”
A billion children are at 'extremely high risk' of climate shocks, UNICEF says
A billion children are at ‘extremely high risk’ of climate shocks, UNICEF says
The one-in-400-year frequency only refers to the particular region studied and does not mean it will be another 400 years until other parts of Europe, or the world, will see a similar weather event, explained Maarten van Aalst, a professor of climate and disaster resilience from the University of Twente in the Netherlands.
“In this case, [the projection for next year is] possibly worse because, year by year, if the trend so far is that the climate is increasing, the risk will continue to grow. So, if anything, we’re expecting a higher chance of this happening next year than this year. But it’s basically a one-over-400 chance every single year,” van Aalst said at a news conference.