In the world of competitive sports, size often provides a huge advantage. Take being taller, for instance; it can make shooting a basketball much easier, though it might mean sacrificing some agility compared to lighter players. On the flip side, having more mass can make wrestlers incredibly tough to budge. The benefits of size are numerous, but most athletes only have slight differences in height or weight compared to their competitors. And then, there are those extraordinary cases where one athlete truly towers over their peers—both figuratively and literally. These remarkable individuals are, in many ways, giants among us mere mortals.
This collection provides a peek into the lives of these enormous athletes, delving into their achievements after they hung up their sports gear.
Andre The Giant
In the electrifying realm of professional wrestling, there was no one quite like André the Giant, born André René Roussimoff. He wasn’t just a wrestler; he was a legend, a colossus in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). You might remember him as Fezzik, the endearing giant with a heart of gold from the timeless classic “The Princess Bride.” This gentle giant captured hearts not only with his wrestling prowess but also with his magnetic presence on the silver screen. Yet, what truly set André apart was his gigantism, a condition that saw him grow to a staggering 7 feet 4 inches and reach an astonishing weight of 520 pounds during his epic showdown at WrestleMania III in 1987. Imagine that—a man so colossal, he seemed almost otherworldly.
William “The Refrigerator” Perry
William “The Refrigerator” Perry, an NFL legend, enjoyed a stellar decade-long career as a fearsome defensive lineman, proudly representing teams like the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, and even the London Monarchs. But it wasn’t just his skills that left an indelible mark; it was his immense physical presence that earned him the enduring moniker “The Fridge.” Off the field, Perry’s journey took intriguing turns. He extended his presence to television, becoming a household name. However, Perry’s ambitions didn’t stop there. He ventured into the business world, notably launching his own brand of mouthwatering barbecue sauce, adding a flavorful twist to his already remarkable journey.
Emmanuel Yarbrough, a colossal figure in the world of sumo wrestling and mixed martial arts, stood as a towering giant at 6 feet 8 inches, with a staggering weight of 600 pounds. But beyond the glitz of the ring, Yarbrough grappled with a profound struggle—a fondness for fried foods and a relentless battle against food addiction. His story transcended sports as he ventured into the world of movies and television, seamlessly transitioning from the mat to the silver screen. Yet, despite his achievements and the multitude of characters he portrayed, Yarbrough’s life was cut short tragically, at the relatively young age of 51 in 2015.
In the fast-paced world of the NHL, one name that resonates with both fans and foes alike is Zdeno Chára. A mainstay on the ice for the Boston Bruins, he’s not just a long-serving defenseman; he’s a colossal figure in every sense. Imagine a player who’s not just tall but a towering force, standing at an astonishing 6 feet 9 inches and weighing in at 250 pounds.
But Chára’s impact transcends the rink. He’s more than just a hockey player; he’s a champion of social causes. His endorsement of the “You Can Play” campaign sends a powerful message of inclusivity and acceptance in the sports world. With every stride and every check, Zdeno Chára not only defends his team’s goal but also stands up for a brighter, more inclusive future in the world of sports.
Eric “Butterbean” Esch, a formidable heavyweight boxer and MMA champion, is a larger-than-life figure in the combat sports world, weighing in at an imposing 425 pounds. Beyond his combat prowess, he leads a fascinating double life. In Jasper, Alabama, he serves as a reserve deputy sheriff, a role that took the spotlight in the reality TV show “Big Law: Deputy Butterbean” on the Discovery channel. But Butterbean’s versatility doesn’t stop there; he’s also a showman. With memorable credits in productions like “Jackass: The Movie,” “Chairman of the Board,” “Squidbillies,” and “Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling,” he’s proven that he’s more than willing to step out of his comfort zone and embrace the spotlight in a variety of entertaining endeavors.