Manny Yarbrough, who is widely recognised as the heaviest athlete in the world, is looking to lose some of his weight.
Currently, the sumo wrestler weighs in at 719 pounds and stands at 6 feet 7 inches tall. However the athlete, who is affectionately called Tiny by his pals, has admitted to ABC News that he would like to shed most of his mass.
Yarbrough is hoping to return to his college weight before he retires from the sport next year, because he is concerned for his health.
Yarbrough commented, “I’m desperate to get back to my best college shape in time for the nationals next year. It’s the sportsman in me that never-give-up attitude. It’s a challenge. I had to give it a shot because of that inner athlete in me pushing me to do it.”
He went on to add that he is concerned that he won’t be able to live a normal life if he doesn’t begin a weight loss schedule. “Once I retire, it’s about a quality of life I want to have,” explained Yarbrough. “I had a ticket cancelled on me on a flight to Italy a few years ago and haven’t flown since through fear it would happen again.”
However, Yarbrough believes that he isn’t entirely to blame for his size, stating, “It’s partly down to genetics, as it isn’t just weight. I have always been tall too. People never used to pay attention to the nutritional value of food, and I was growing pretty fast so needed to eat.”
He also went on to lay the blame for his weight at his family’s door, continuing, “My aunt would make big breakfasts because my cousins went out to work, but I wasn’t accustomed to that. I just hung out and ate with them.”
Manny Yarbrough noted that he has always been aware of his size, and even as a youngster, he had to curb his enthusiasm so that he didn’t injure his playmates.
“When I was a child I played every sport I could but I was always the ‘big kid,’” remarked the sumo wrestler. “It was just my luck in life. I’d do what everybody else did growing up but from the age of about six I knew I was bigger than the others and probably always would be. When we were playing with friends I had to remember to hold back so I didn’t hurt anyone.”
Yarbrough holds the Guinness World Record for the being the heaviest athlete in the world, and was an Amateur Sumo World Champion in 1995.