Measuring just 3 feet 3 inches, an Indian muscleman who was born with shorter arms and legs believes he is the world’s shortest bodybuilder.
Pratik Vittal Mohite, 24, who hails from the western Indian state of Maharashtra, did not let his disability stop him from hitting the gym and building muscles. At the age of 16, the determined youngster started working out. Now he has become a household name in his city and has earned ardent fans in his field of sports.
However, the road to success didn’t come easy, as his childhood was filled with moments of humiliation. As a kid, Pratik didn’t have any friends, and his classmates constantly made fun of him due to his appearance. But with time and support from his father, Vittal Gajanan, and mother, Sunita Vittal Mohite, Pratik quickly adapted to his condition and started to gain the confidence to live his life like other kids.
“My classmates used to laugh at me for not being able [to] do regular things like them, like running, playing, swimming or riding a bicycle or motorbike,” Pratik recalled. “Wherever I used to go, people would stare at me. I wasn’t happy but my parents helped me cope up with my condition and instilled confidence in me.”
In 2012, the turning point came in Pratik’s life. He began to do mild exercises as he wanted to build his body like his friends in the neighborhood. Eventually, after four years, he started to take bodybuilding seriously and doing weight training.
Pratik admitted that when he began to train, he couldn’t do a lot of exercises initially such as bench presses or holding dumbbells, as he didn’t have the grip because of his small hands, owing to his condition.
Additionally, he also stated that “I didn’t have strength and my legs couldn’t touch the floor.”
However, over the course of time, with perseverance and determination, Pratik, who weighs 92 pounds (approx. 42 kg), built his strength and is now able to lift 187 pounds (approx. 85 kg) with his chest.
In the last three years, Pratik, who is a cricket lover, has participated in 41 bodybuilding competitions and appeared in many national championships in the disability category, winning several awards.
“The first day I went on stage I was nervous that people would laugh at me but the moment they saw me, everyone started clapping,” Pratik recalled. “It was the first time I felt I am special.”
With so many fans, Pratik feels like a celebrity. “I feel wonderful. I used to hate when people used to stare at me when I was a kid but now, I feel wonderful when people look at me,” he said.
Pratik now wants to create a world record and is hoping for sponsorship to apply at Guinness World Record.
“I believe I am the shortest bodybuilder in the world and I want the recognition worldwide,” he concluded.
Epoch Times staff contributed to this story.
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