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Waldorf’s tallest man

Height difference betweenSaheed Olaosebikan, Gabriel Muñoz Labaleta and Erisha Menon. Photo By Dina Selviana

Height difference betweenSaheed Olaosebikan, Gabriel Muñoz Labaleta and Erisha Menon

By Dina Selviana

Gabriel Muñoz Labaleta was born and raised in Madrid, Spain, on September 7, 1993. Labaleta is a freshman majoring in Sport Management at Waldorf University. He stands at 7ft 3in, his mom is 5 ft 8 in and his older sister is 6 ft tall. People have multiple reactions when they see Labaleta as a super tall man in public. They are amazed, ask for pictures and randomly go up to him and start a conversation.

“When I was younger, it was difficult for me to walk on the streets. It feels like you are famous without even knowing it. People see you, talk, and even laugh over your height. I sometimes feel uncomfortable when there are too many people asking to take pictures with me,” said Labaleta. Despite all the attention being a super tall man gets him, Labaletta says it has both advantages and disadvantages. “It is easier to play for my basketball team. I can also reach everything on shelves easily in my home and stores,” said Labaleta. He also added, “I can see things better when it comes to finding my friend in a crowd. Moreover, watching concerts from the back would still sound good for me”.

Enjoying the advantages of being tall, Labaleta still has to deal with other consequences. Labaleta finds that shoes are always way too small and pants are always way too short in normal shops. “I need to purchase it online to find a specific size of shoes or trousers to fit me because a few companies can create specific ones for my order. But it also comes with a higher price,” said Labaleta. “My bed needs to be extra-long to cover my leg space. In public bathrooms, I barely see my entire body or head in the mirror and have to bend to see my hair. If I use public transportation or several varieties of car, it is too small to even sit up in the lowest seat setting. On a plane, I always request an emergency seat, since the seat has much bigger space,”.

In spite of different reactions over his height, Labaleta has a memorable story during his stay in Iowa. He went to Walmart in Mason City to shop when a family came to him and asked for pictures. “It was fine until the family had a conversation while following me through Walmart for about 15 minutes. That was awkward,” Labaleta said.

Pavle Mihajlovic is a Business Marketing student and Labaleta’s basketball teammate. “He is 7’3″ and he knows how to pass and shoot the ball very well. He is still learning that basketball here is faster and more physical, but he will get there. Overall, he is a great guy, friendly, and very funny,” Mihajlovic said. Though Labelata shared his stories about the advantages and disadvantages of being super tall, we should remember that everyone is perfect the way they are. “It feels so good to be a person with unique and interesting traits. I am totally happy to accept the way I am,” Labelata said.