AuthorI’m Benjamin Grant, the guy behind @DailyOverview — an Instagram account that aims to change the way we see the world. I also just published my first book. Ask me anything!
Oct 28th 2016 by DailyOverview • 43 Questions • 86 Points
My name is Igor Vovkovinskiy. I am a proud Ukrainian, who lives in the US, for medical reasons. I was named the Tallest Living man in 2010 by the Guinness Book of World Records on the Dr. Oz show. And it so happens that after Leonid Stadnyk died in 2014, I became the Tallest Ukrainian. I did an AMA about 2-3 years ago, however, tons of people on Reddit are asking me the same questions, so I would like to do it again.
I know many people don't know how to Google :) so I'll tell you, my height is 7ft 8.33in and you want to know my weight? Well, my friends, it's none of your business! :) Haha
I will be posting some photos during the AMA, when I choose to do so, however, please do not request photos.
Let's do this.
Thank you all for the questions. I must go. If you wish, you can follow me on Twitter, @Igor2tall I am sorry if I didn't answer your question, or didn't answer it the way you wanted it answered. A couple quick facts. I love to watch MMA, huge UFC fan. I love my homeland, Ukraine, Слава Україні! I love fishing and reading. PC Games, I love Fallout 3 & 4, wish I could get Battlefield 1, but it's way too expensive, and I don't have an income, so that's out of the question. Have a great Sunday!
UPDATE 1 - 10/30/2016 - 11:30PM Central Time LADIES & GENTLEMEN!! I am still fairly new to Reddit, so I am not sure how to keep updating you. I think, perhaps, updating the OP is best? Your response has been overwhelming. Thank you soooo much for all the kind words, suggestions, offers of help. I can't keep track of anything. I will try to answer as many questions as I can. http://i.imgur.com/cdmKp1M.jpg
Hi Benjamin, I'm a huge fan of yours.
I know this might be a cliche question, but within all of the landscapes you've shown, which one has impacted you the most?
Hey, there was a documentary shown on tv here a few weeks ago about gigantism which you were featured in. I remember you said in it that you were a bit of a film buff, what's your favourite movie at the moment? what was the documentary process like?
Hey, thanks so much for your question. I would say some of the mining images are the most powerful for me. For my book, they are all included in the chapter called "Where We Extract" and I often say it's one of the most memorable. I think they are some of the striking because they cover such a vast amount of area and are these deep, visible scars on the surface of our planet. I would also say the Overviews I have created of refugee camps (like the ones in Syria before and after the civil war) have really left a mark on me. Do you have any ones in mind from the project that have left a mark on you? Thanks for your question.
Hello. I like so many movies... it's so hard to pick one, or 10. Okay, these aren't necessarily the newest films, but I like them very much.
Mad Max Fury Road Dredd LoTR Series The Hobbit Series Apocalypto Eagle Eye Star Trek Beyond Captain America movies
Big fan of your IG and cannot wait to pickup the book.
Was it difficult to narrow it down to 220 photos for the book? I would be curious to know which ones just missed the cut and why.
Whats the best thing and the worst thing about being that height?
Hey, thanks so much for your question. It was definitely difficult to pick the images, but I think the biggest challenge for the book was figuring out how it would be structured and what words I would use to describe each chapter. I ended up going with a similar phrase for each so it goes "Where We Harvest", "Where We Extract", "Where We Power", etc. Once I had those categories locked down, it was then time to curate images from the feed and see where the images should go. I should also mention that there are 70 never-before-seen images in the book so if you've been following along on IG that should be fun for you to check out at some point. Thanks for your question!
The worst thing is all the medical issues. The best thing? I don't know.... maybe that kids look up to me. I have gone to schools around the area to talk to kids about being tall, being different, about my homeland.
Hi Benjamin! I just got your book in the mail today, it looks absolutely great. When studying human impact, the evolution in time seems very interesting as well. I remember seeing aerial photography of the impact of hurricanes on residential areas somewhere (before-after photos). However, in a broader context, and on a longer time scale, the evolution of human impact might also become apparent. What is your idea about that, and can this be done with the images you are working with?
What are the health concerns associated with being so tall? Do doctors estimate that your life expectancy is likely shorter than that of a man of average height?
Hey, thanks for your question. Yes definitely. One thing you'll notice in the book are a few spreads that I call "Juxtapose". Here I take two images of the exact same place and show change over time. By creating these comparisons we are able to observe how much change is happening and how quickly it takes place. One of the most striking examples is the before and after of Zataari Refugee Camp in the "Where We Live" chapter. Thank you so much for purchasing a copy and for your question.
many health concerns, blood doesn't flow to the outer extremities very well, meaning my legs, so I have excrutiating pain in my legs and feet, as I have had 25+ surgeries on my left foot & leg. Nothing really helps me with my pain. I am on about level 7-8 out of 10 all the time
What is your favorite and most fascinating picture or category to shoot?
Do you know what caused your great height? Was it a tumour on the pituitary gland, like many other extremely tall individuals?
That's a great / tough question. I would say some of my favorite are highway interchanges. Just observing the complexity of the infrastructure that we create, combined with the mesmerizing beauty of that construction is so fascinating. I enjoy them so much that I included four in the new book! Thanks for your question.
yes, a tumor.
Do you ever go to the mall of America?
There is book store there where I think I may come across your path a number of years ago. Short story, as I was looking down thumbing through a book I saw this ginormous foot step next to mine. So I look up to see a mountain of a man. I can only guess this was you, because this gentleman was huge. Pulling books off the the top display shelves with ease, which would have taken anyone else a ladder.
Quite impressive anyway. Have a good weekend.
haha, yeah probably me, I would always go to the Barnes & Noble at the MoA.
Well. for breakfast, usually a bowl of cereal or 3 eggo waffles with some jelly, and 2 cups of coffee.
For lunch, a sandwich or two. for example: european or Ukrainian bread, little butter, 2-3 pieces of ham or beef or salami and a piece of cheese (Havarti or Provolone or whatever we have, I'm not picky). Or if I have some Borcht or other soup, I'll eat a bowl of that. Or we'll make some fried potatoes with a pork chop or a steak. For dinner, I may make some rice & chicken in the oven or potatoes & chicken in the oven. I don't have any money to eat fancy. I haven't even ever tried fresh lobster or crab. When my fridge is empty I will eat a couple ramen soups.
Uhhhhhh....well if you go to a grocery store bakery, they have bread. And some of it is called European bread. And there are Ukrainian & Eastern European grocery stores in big cities all over the US, they sell hot & freshly baked Ukrainian bread, the kind we ate at home. It's MUCH heavier than the typical American wonderbread type crap, has more substance to it, healthier.
Do you have a record of your progression of growth? Has it been constant or have there been phases where you shot up a lot?
not really. Never kept a written record. But I'll tell you this Thecpoepoe, at 7 years old, I was 6ft tall
Have you ever been asked by to get an item on the high shelves while in a store?
yes, quite often. Usually by older people. They are always very nice about it. I'm happy to help.
yes! The most annoying this is that 99% of people think that they are the first person to think of that question.
Excellent. Sometimes foggy, but great right now.
What does a 7ft 8 inch man do for a career and how has your height helped/hindered your work life?
I haven't been able to have a normal work life, I haven't worked in a traditional setting since 2005, mostly because I had to have so many surgeries, but also because I have excrutiating pain in my legs and feet.
How big is your bed? Also (sorry if your uncomfortable with this) how does the sex work?
my bed is about 9ft by 6ft. Well... I read a book about sex, I can send you an amazon link if you want. :)
Growing up in Austin, Minnesota I remember seeing TV reports about you. I was happy that you immigrated to this country so you could receive medical treatment.
Since I have to ask a question, what is your favorite NFL team?
Hello!! Well... if I say anything else, my house will be egged, so Minnesota Vikings!! No, but really, I like the Vikes.
my mother is about 5ft 6in, and my dad is about 6ft
not my choice, it's what I had to have at the time to heal my feet
Have you ever met the shortest man in America? If so, what was it like?
nope, never met the shortest person, however in college I had a little person in one of my classes, she was about 3ft 8in. It felt strange, but I never dwell on things like that, because I'm sure she is sick of people starring at her, just like I am sick of it.
What is the one thing you wish you would be able to experience that you can't because of your height? And also as a fellow Ukrainian living in western country does people ever comment when you make бутерброд? If you do so of course :)
I want to be able to just get into a car and drive. Right now, I desperately need to replace my vehicle. But Ford will not answer my tweets nor my calls. None of the dealers in MN, WI, or IL have the Ford Transit passenger van in the size I am looking for. I can't fit into any other type of vehicles.
Я себе сделал бутерброд час назад, украинский хлеб и кровянка. Так вкусно! Здесь люди не понимают кровянку.
Are you married? If you are, how tall is your wife? Do you care about the height of the women you date? How tall was the tallest women you've dated and how short was the shortest?
Also, how have you modified your living spaces to be more comfortable? I know my parents have their kitchen counters raised and it's really nice.
I am not married. Most women I've dated have been above 6ft, some taller than 6ft 6in.
We built our home with some things modified, our doors are tall, I have a large shower, and our ceilings are tall. I have a specially made bed, about 9ft long and 6ft wide
in what ways does your height effect you, i.e. do you need to eat more?
my diet is about 1800-2100 calories per day
70's 80's 90's Rock. Tom Petty, Clapton, Eagles, John Mellencamp, Doors, Nirvana, stuff like that