July 31, 2007
Yu Zhenhuan, One of the world's hairiest men, who nicknames himself "King Kong", has launched a campaign to carry the Olympic Torch during the relay ahead of next year's Beijing Games, Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday. "The Olympics belong to everyone -- the common people and those with abnormalities included," the report quoted Yu Zhenhuan as saying from his home in China's northeastern province of Liaoning. "First I am a celebrity, inside and outside of China. Secondly, I think my experience in coping with a disfigurement ties in with the notion of the Olympic spirit," he added. Hair covers 96 percent of Yu's body. He may be surpassed only by a pair of Mexican brothers: Victor "Larry" and Gabriel "Danny" Ramos Gomez, listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as having 98 percent hair cover. Yu is being supported in his bid by Xing Aowei, who won a gymnastics gold medal for China at the Sydney Games in 2000, Xinhua said. "In him, I see the perseverance and bravery of the Chinese people," Xing was quoted as saying. "I will help him with publicity and give him some ideas." But the Beijing Games' organisers are taking a wait-and-see attitude. "We welcome celebrities to apply to join the torch relay," Xinhua quoted a spokesman for the organisers as saying. "But it is hard to assess his chances, as the recruitment is open to everyone."