When talking about the greatest athletes, fans usually bring up impressive victories, record-breaking feats, and a shelf full of cups and medals. But, you see, there’s a different kind of “big” in the world of sports – the kind that doesn’t always fit in the trophy case.
These athletes will forever be etched in history for the sheer gigantic size of their bodies as well their achievements. Yeah, we’re talking about the biggest league imaginable, where athletes literally stand head and shoulders above the rest. So, get ready to meet some real-life colossi.
1. Andre the Giant (6′11″)
The French wrestler Andre Rene Roussimoff got his legendary moniker, Andre the Giant, due to his condition, acromegaly, sometimes called “giantism.” But that wasn’t his first wrestling alias. He went by Jean Ferre in Montreal and Monster Roussimoff in Japan before he stepped into the ring as Andre the Giant at Madison Square Garden in 1973. To give you an idea of his colossal stature, when he was just 12, his height reached a towering 6 feet, 3 inches. At his absolute peak, he stretched to a staggering 6 feet, 11 inches, and carried almost 500 pounds of pure muscle and might. Incredible!
2. Yao Ming (7′ 6″)
Playing ball runs in Yao Ming’s family, so it’s not exactly shocking that he also caught the basketball bug. Standing at a whopping 7 feet 6 inches, Yao makes his 6 feet 7 inches tall dad and 6 feet 3 inches tall mom look like regular-sized folks. Like many super tall hoopsters, this ex-Houston Rockets star had to hang up his sneakers in 2011 because gravity destroyed his ankles and feet. But during his last few games, he held the title of the tallest guy in the NBA, and that’s pretty darn cool.
3. Laura Dijkema (6′1″)
Meet the tallest female volleyball player from Denmark, Laura Dijkema! This 6-foot-tall Amazon has been spiking and serving since she was just a kid, and most of her pro career went down playing in the German team Dresdner SC. But she didn’t stop there; Dijkema also joined the Dutch National team, bagging three medals in just two years!