Choon Tan: Northumbria Student and England’s Smallest Bodybuilder

Northumbria student Choon Tan may only be 4ft 10inches tall but he is making big waves in the world of body-building.

The 21 year old Entrepreneurial Business Management student is Britain’s smallest competitive body-builder.


Choon, who also works as an event manager for Jaluminati, arguably Newcastle’s most popular night-club events company, has been competing in the Men’s Physique section for the UKBFF Federation.



He was born with a genetic birth defect which almost always only occurs in males called x-linked spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia tarda. The condition impairs bone growth and caused a huge degree of stress to Choon earlier on in his life.


He told the Metro,

Finding out that I had a genetic defect and that I would not be the same as everyone else confused me as a child.
I didn’t feel that I was as good or the same as everyone else. I got bullied and tormented because of it.
Those several years were undoubtedly the worst of my life, but it is what led me to an incredible eye-opening journey.
Everything started to get to me and I just wanted it all to end. he says.
I remember having this feeling every day and it was unbearable.
I didn’t want to be smaller and feel more vulnerable than everyone else.

Choon started body-building to help increase his self confidence. A change of diet and doing weights 5 times per week helped him cope with the physical demands of his condition more easily and he said it also has helped him mentally as well.

Growing up wishing that you could be different and not being comfortable in your own skin can devastate you psychologically.

You can follow Choon on Instagram – @imchoontan where he uses his account to inspire and encourage others.




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