Liam Hoekstra was born with a rare condition that gives him superhuman strength.
You know those hulking gorilla-men who lift cars above their heads, toss cannonballs, and drag airplanes in a competition to be named World’s Strongest Man? Those guys better start stocking up on their spinach — there’s a new contestant on the scene, and his name is Liam Hoekstra.
Imagine an amped-up version of Michaelangelo’s David statue, and you’ve got Liam. He’s got almost no body fat, 40 percent more muscle mass than the average person and Superman-level strength and speed. Granted, he’s not hauling airplanes down the street just yet — but give him a break: He’s only 19 months old.
The ultra-brawny toddler from Roosevelt Park, Mich., was born with myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy, or muscle enlargement. Because of this incredibly rare condition, Liam’s muscles develop at a rate much faster than the average person’s — only two days after his birth, the infant was able to stand up with support. More recently, he’s moved onto Olympic-caliber iron crosses.
Fortunately, doctors aren’t aware of any negative side effects to Liam’s bizarre condition. "He’s a normal kid. He’s just got that lucky twist," Liam’s doctor, Erlund Larson, told The Associated Press. "It’s going to be fun to watch him grow."
The Strongest Man competition may still be a while off for little Liam. But in the meantime, he can amuse himself by bending the monkey bars in half at his preschool playground, maybe juggling a few pianos. You know, normal kid stuff.
Originally published in 2007. Liam is now six, and stronger than ever.