ESC Bubble are sad to report that Igor Vovkovinskiy has died at the age of 38.
Igor, who was America’s tallest man, appeared alongside Zlata Ognevich for Ukraine’s 2013 Eurovision entry – Gravity
Igor’s size was due to a tumour that pressed against his pituitary gland, causing it to secrete abnormal levels of growth hormone. He had diabetes and other health problems, and died from heart disease on Friday.
In an interview on the TV Show “60 Minutes Australia” when he was 29, Igor said it was a different experience every day to look at the world from his height, saying
“I always have to think about: Am I endangering my life? Nothing is built for my size so everything is a challenge,”
Over his lifetime, Igor also appeared on “The Dr. Oz Show” and was called out by Barack Obama during a campaign rally in 2009. Igor also featured in the 2007 show, “Inside Extraordinary Humans: The Science of Gigantism.”
Igor lived with his mother in a house with special cathedral ceilings. He graduated from Rochester’s John Marshall High School in America and earned a two-year college degree from the city’s community college. He dreamed of being a lawyer, but his physical challenges were staggering.
At Obama’s rally, the president called him out, noticing him a few feet from the stage wearing a T-shirt that read, the “World’s Biggest Obama Supporter.” After the recognition, Vovkovinskiy said Obama’s health insurance initiatives were “something I can’t live without.”
In 2012, Igor issued a plea on Facebook to cover the estimated $16,000 cost for specially made shoes that wouldn’t cause him crippling pain. At the time, he said he hadn’t owned a pair for years that could fit his size 26 feet.
“I’d like to do simple things, like maybe go window shopping at a mall. I haven’t done that in about four years. Maybe walk my dog, go fishing,”
The attention got Igor an invitation to a Minnesota Timberwolves game and Sports brand Reebok provided the custom shoes for free.
In recent years, Igor’s brother Ladan said that his brother’s health problems worsened and he struggled to walk, but that he was a devoted uncle to his nephew and niece.
ESC Bubble sends our wishes to Igor’s friends, family and fans at this difficult time.