At 2 metres 15 centimetres (7 feet, 0.7 inches) tall, Rumeysa Gelgi says she has always stood out. She says that with now being officially recognized as the world’s tallest woman, she plans to use that record to celebrate differences.
24-year-old Gelgi, who is from Turkey, was confirmed last week as the world’s tallest living female by Guinness World Records; she was re-measured this year, after she was first awarded the title for the tallest teenager living (female) back in 2014, when she was aged 18; this is her second world record.
“Being different is not as bad as you think. It can bring you unexpected success,” Gelgi said.
Gelgi was born with Weaver Syndrome, a rare genetic disease that causes rapid growth among other abnormalities. The condition means that she uses a wheelchair most of the time, but can move for short periods using a walker. She says she hopes to use her title to raise awareness about rare genetic disorders such as Weaver syndrome.
“I personally think that differences and other features which seem like a disadvantage can be turned to advantages if you want it and make the effort for it. That is exactly what I did.” She told journalists.
In her free time, Gelgi says she likes to go out for nice meals with her family and finds swimming relaxing. She says that her height makes people intrigued when they pass her on the street, but most people as she says, are kind and supportive when they meet her for the first time.
The previous record holder was Yao Defen (China) who recorded an average height of 233.3 cm (7 ft 7 in) when last documented back in 2010.
The tallest man in the world, Sultan Kosen who was measured at 2 metres 51cm (8ft 2.8in) in 2018, is also from Turkey; Gelgi says she hopes to meet him one day.