LOOK: An 8-foot-tall sitting volleyball player is the talk of the Rio Paralympics
It's impossible not to notice Morteza Mehrzad on the court
In volleyball height is always a factor -- even when the players are sitting.
To that point, Iran's sitting volleyball team has the biggest weapon at the 2016 Rio Paralympics -- literally.
Morteza Mehrzad is gigantic, even when sitting. He stands 8-foot-1, and is the tallest person in all of Iran.
Mehrzad suffered a pelvis injury at the age of 15 after he fell of his bike, which caused his right leg to stop growing. According to Rio 2016, the leg is now about six inches shorter than his left leg, which makes walking very difficult. He normally uses a wheelchair or crutches to get around.
A coach spotted Mehrzad on television and immediately recruited him for sitting volleyball. Even while sitting Mehrzad towers over the net, which is less than four feet high.
"We have given him the platform to be Paralympic champion," coach Hadi Rezaeigarkani said. "We are preparing him to make history."
Iran is a power in the sport, having won silver at the 2012 London Paralympics.
Mehrzad only played in the second set of his team's opening victory over China on Saturday, but the coach hinted that he might be getting more playing time in the future.
"We're not going to show all our cards at the same time," Rezaeigarkani said. "We are going step by step, but we are training him to be the best in the world in two years' time."
Iran takes on Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday night in pool play.
"He used to be considered just as a strange guy and now he can be a champion," Rezaeigarkani said.
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