By Taniya Dutta
Measuring just 3ft 3in, Indian muscleman Pratik Vittal Mohite is world’s smallest bodybuilder.
Pratik, 24, was born with shorter arms and legs but the disability did not stop him from hitting the gym and building muscles.
At just 16, Pratik, a cricket-lover from Maharashtra in western India started working out.
Pratik has become a household name in his city and has earned ardent fans in his field of sports.
He said: “It fees great when people treat me 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. I feel special.”
While initially it was a struggle for the 92 lbs man to train with dumbbells, with perseverance and determination, Pratik not only has build muscles and strength but has won several awards in the bodybuilding competitions in disability category.
In the last three years, he has participated in 41 competitions and appeared as a guest in many national championships.
He said: “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. It was the first time I felt I am special.
“I was inspired by friends in the neighbourhood. They all had nice bodies. I wanted to have a body like them.
“I started with mild exercises in 2012 to stay fit. Four years later, I started taking bodybuilding seriously and doing weight training.
“Because of my condition, I couldn’t do a lot of exercises initially such as bench press or holding dumbbells as I didn’t get the grip because of my small hands.
“I didn’t have strength and my legs couldn’t touch the floor. But gradually I developed strength and now I can do lift 187 lbs with my chest.”
Pratik’s childhood was filled with moments of humiliation. He did not have friends and classmates would make fun of him.
With time and support from his parents–father Vittal Gajanan mobile, 48, and mother Sunita Vittal Mohite, 46, Pratik quickly adapted his condition and gained confidence to live his life like other kids.
“My classmates used to laugh at me for not being able do regular things like them, like running, playing, swimming or riding a bicycle or motorbike.
“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.” said Pratik.
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 said.