Xia Shujian is 29, works as a salesperson and hails from the town of Chifeng, China. Bao Xishun is 56, toils as a herdsman from Inner Mongolia and found the love of his life after advertising for a wife. They may be the perfect couple and they’re said to be madly in love, but there’s just one thing that could be standing in the way of their eternal happiness. She’s 5’6″. He’s an incredible 7’9″, acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest man in the world.
They were actually married in a civil service in March but on Thursday, the odd couple participated in a colourful and eye-opening traditional Mongolian ceremony attended by hundreds of friends, relatives and the curious. Bao appeared in a light blue gown with a gold vest, riding to his nuptials on a cart pulled by two camels. The bride’s attendants tried to “stop” him from entering the camp – part of the tradition – but his pleas “convinced” them to let him pass. When her family offered him tea, it was the final sign that he’d been accepted.
Bao’s abnormal growth spurt began at the age of 16 and within seven years, he was almost eight feet tall. But this towering titan pays a price for his fantastic feet. He suffers from arthritis in his knees, which prevents him from moving as well as he used to.
He came to prominence in Guinness, but was also in the limelight last December when his reach didn’t exceed his grasp. It was Bao who extended his long arms into the stomach of two dolphins, pulling the plastic that was slowly killing them out of their insides.
No one’s willing to predict what their kids might look like, but Bao has a preference. “If we have a child, I hope he or she can be 1.8-1.9-metres tall. Then he or she can play basketball.”