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24 August 2018

Self-proclaimed 'fittest dwarf on earth' can lift four times his own weight

Mikey Witous is working hard towards an event where he will show how he is the fittest dwarf on earth.

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While many people cannot even lift a large fraction of their weight, Mikey Witous defied the odds of his dwarfism and built up the strength to be able to lift almost four times his body weight.

The 26-year-old has a history of athleticism, seeing that he played football, took part in wrestling and practiced taekwondo. When he gave up wrestling, he decided to move on to taking part in CrossFit and is now working hard towards an event where he will show how he is the fittest dwarf on earth.

Weighing in at just under 60kg, with a height of 1.35m, Witous has achondroplasia – a form of short-limbed dwarfism as described by the National Library of Medicine's Genetic Home Reference (GHR).

Achondroplasia is a genetic disorder, causing disproportionate dwarfism. It involves a lack of cartilage formation, but as interpreted by GHR, it doesn't actually refer to cartilage not forming, but rather the process of cartilage converting into bone. It's particularly in arms and legs that this conversion doesn't fully take place.

Health challenges

While there may be unusual skeletal development, people who have achondroplasia generally have normal brain functionality and "normal" intelligence.

There are, however, a few health challenges associated with the condition, such as periods of slow breathing or not breathing at all, obesity and recurring ear infections.

Possible health issues, which are more serious, include spinal stenosis, which, according to Spine-Health, involves the spinal canal becoming thinner and possibly causing pinching of nerves running through the canal. This could result in difficulty walking because the legs may experience tingling, numbness, pain and weakness, according to Spine-Health.

Hydrocephalus, also known as water on the brain, could be experienced, resulting in a larger head size and brain complications, but is believed to be quite uncommon.

 
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