A High Honor: Guinness Names a New World’s Shortest Woman

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The Guinness World Records adjudicator Rob Molloy (right) speaks with Jyoti Amge, the world's shortest living woman, on her 18th birthday in the central Indian city of Nagpur December 16, 2011

How does the world’s shortest woman get to feel tall? By setting a world record.

At just 62.8 cm (24.7 in), Indian student Jyoti Amge has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s shortest living woman. For the record, Amge is 7 centimeters shorter than the previous holder of the title, Bridgette Jordan of the U.S., who had only held the title since September.

This isn’t Amge’s first Guinness record, because until Friday she was the world’s shortest teenager. But by turning 18, she’s had quite the birthday. At a ceremony held in Nagpur, a teary-eyed Amge described the honor as an “extra birthday present” and said she was grateful for being small, due to the recognition it has brought her. “After all if I weren’t small and had not achieved these world records I might never have been able to visit Japan and Europe, and many other wonderful countries,” she said.

Amge has a condition called achondroplasia, which is a form of dwarfism, and isn’t expected to grow any further (in a statement, Guinness said she’s grown less than a centimeter over the past two years).

Dressed in a sari, Amge stood on a chair next to Rob Molloy, the official adjudicator for Guinness World Records, to cut her birthday cake. “It is wonderful to celebrate my 18th birthday with a new world record,” she added. The shortest woman ever recorded was Pauline Musters, who lived in the Netherlands from 1876 to 1895, and was 61 cm (24 in).

Amge has walked tall her entire life: she’s attended regular school since the age of four and just completed her high school exams. Next up? A university degree, but her dream is to become a Bollywood actress. In NewsFeed’s eyes, she’s already a star. (via Telegraph)

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