When boxers entered the ring against Nikolai Valuev, they were in for an uphill battle. The massive heavyweight was seven feet tall and weighed 328 pounds, making him the tallest and heaviest champion in boxing history. Even boxing titans like Evander Holyfield were no match for the power and size of this Russian beast.
To be a good soccer player, you've got to be nimble and quick, and normally, those skills are found in smaller people. But Peter Crouch hasn't let his 6'7" stature stop him from becoming a soccer great. While he is retired now, Crouch has played for high-profile teams like Stoke City and the English national team.
TJ Barnes is slated to play in the upcoming 2020 season of the XFL, and when he does, his size will definitely be an asset. Coming in at 6'7" and 364 lbs, he's a player to watch.
In the mid-2000s, Yao Ming was the most popular thing to come from the NBA. And for good reason too--the basketball star was a staggering 7'6". Even in a sport that's dominated by tall people, almost no opponent was a real match for Ming. These days he's retired, but hopefully he's still putting that extreme height to good use!
Nataliya Kuznetsova is a massive female bodybuilder--even by male bodybuilding standards her stats are insane! With 18.5-inch biceps and 28-inch thighs, she is quite possibly the largest woman bodybuilder ever. Also, if it wasn't obvious from her extremely abnormal size, the woman is probably on every steroid under the sun.
John Krahn is one of the few non-professional athletes on this list--he's currently still in college. But despite his youthfulness, he's still one of the biggest football players around. Coming in at 7 feet and 400 lbs, he's likely to get drafted when the time comes.
We've featured someone women on this list who are incredibly tall with respect to the average height of a woman, but Margo Dydek is a different story. Coming in at a staggering 7'2" she is tall by any objective standard, male or female. Unfortunately, Dydek passed away in 2011, but her impressive record as a basketball great lives on.
Mamadou N'Diaye was already breaking records in college--during his time at UC Irvine he became the tallest NCAA Division I player at 7'6". Since then, he's moved on to the NBA where his exceptional height has given him a big boost over the competition.
Even by sumo standards, Emanuel Yarbrough was a beast. At his highest weight, he came in at 800 lbs and was even named as the largest living athlete by Guinness World Records. Unfortunately, passed away in 2015 due to complications from his weight.
Eric Esch is proof that you shouldn't judge people on appearances. The boxer weighed 425 lbs at only 5'11", and many opponents assumed he would be an easy, out-of-shape target. But they were wrong! At retirement, Esch had a 77-10-4 record in boxing, not to mention his MMA and kickboxing records.
Bryant McKinnie no longer plays in the NFL, but when he did, he was one of the biggest players on the field. Coming in at 6'8" and 352 lbs, McKinnie was an offensive tackle that you definitely did not want to meet on the field. Interestingly, McKinnie wasn't always thrilled about his weight or the criticism he received because of it.
We expect sumo wrestlers to be large, but Konishiki Yasokichi took it to a new level. With nicknames like "Meat Bomb" and "Dump Truck", the 633 lb wrestler was clearly a force to be reckoned with in the sumo community. In addition to his power, Yasokichi was also notable for being a Hawaiian native--most non-Japanese wrestlers don't experience as much success as Yasokichi.
Big Show (aka Paul Wight) is a WWE wrestler and an absolute tank of a man. With a height of 7'2" and a weight of 500 lbs, he's one of the largest professional wrestlers in the world. In fact, when he began his career in the WCW, he was introduced as "the son of Andre the Giant."
The high jump is a sport where it doesn't really pay to be tall--the longer your arms and legs are, the more likely you are to knock the bar as you jump over. But size hasn't stopped 6'2" high jumper Blanka Vlasic from finding success. Despite being almost a foot taller than the average woman, she has managed to win both silver and bronze medals at the Olympics.
When Terrell Brown signed with the St. Louis Rams, he became one of the biggest players in NFL history. In addition to being massive (403 lbs), Brown was also unbelievably tall--coming in at 6'10".
At 7'2" and 365 lbs, Choi Hong-man took both the MMA and kickboxing worlds by storm. His nickname "Korean Colossus" tells you all you need to know about the size and power of this fighting great.
Ronnie Coleman is a professional bodybuilder, who, on first glance, doesn't seem particularly impressive--he's only 5'11" and 300 lbs. That all changes when you consider the massive size of his muscles. At his peak, his arms were a whopping 24 inches wide, and his chest was 60 inches. That is some massive size, bodybuilder or not. It's no wonder that Coleman held the title of Mr. Olympia eight years in a row.
It takes toughness to make it in the world of hockey. Height isn't necessarily a requirement, but it also doesn't hurt! Just ask Zdeno Chara, the 6'9" NHL player. You want to intimidate your opponents any way you can, and standing a full foot above them will do the trick!
Maria Sharapova is a pro tennis player who has managed to rack up more wins, medals, and awards than we can count. While her skills on the court are impeccable, it also doesn't hurt that she's a 6'2" woman. She's not the objectively tallest person on this list, but when you consider that the average height for women is 5'4", it becomes clear that her size is a huge advantage against the competition.
Coming in at 6'8", John Scott is not an opponent you want to meet on the hockey rink. This NHL MVP was ruthless on the ice, and his size certainly helped contribute to his success.
Coming in at 6'11", Ivo Karlovic is the tallest ranked tennis player in the world. But he's not just some gimmicky, super-tall player--he's a threat on the court. In addition to his height record, he also holds the record for career aces, coming in at a staggering 13,552.
In addition to being of the most recognizable basketball players of all time, Shaq was also one of the tallest--coming in at 7'1". While his height was an asset on the court, it didn't stop him from starring in two of the worst movies of the 90s--Blue Chips and Kazaam.
We expect basketball players to be taller than average, but when it comes to 7'5" NBA star Chuck Nevitt, things start to get ridiculous. In addition to being one of the tallest players in basketball history, Nevitt also had the honor of being on the championship Bulls team in 1991-92.
Andre the Giant
Coming in at a staggering 7'4" and 520 lbs, Andre the Giant was a massive (and massively beloved) wrestler. Even wrestling pros like Hulk Hogan didn't stand a chance when they went head to head with Andre in the ring. The wrestler even found success outside of the ring, thanks to his unusual size. Non-wrestling fans might recognize him as Fezzik in The Princess Bride.
Sharran Alexander has the distinction of being one of only a few officially recognized female professional sumo wrestlers. But even among this select class, she's unique--she's also been declared the world's largest sportswoman by Guinness.
Sure, in the world of darts being big offers no tangible advantages. But that being said, professional dart player Andy Fordham is quite possibly the biggest in history, coming in at 6'2" and 445 lbs. That being said, Fordham has recently been trying to slim down and has managed to lose an impressive 200 lbs.
At 6'5", Lisa Leslie made WNBA history by being the first player to dunk. She's since gone on to use her height and her talents in both the Olympics and World Championships.
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson
You would expect a professional strongman to be, well, strong. But Bjornsson goes above and beyond in the size and power department, even for his chosen career. Coming in at 6'9" and 400 lbs, the man may as well be an oak tree.
Long arms and legs come in handy for swimming, so it's no wonder that 6'4" Yvetta Hlavacova took to the sport. The high point of her career came in 2006, when she swam across the English Channel with her record-breaking time of 7 hours and 25 minutes.