Paulo Gabriel da Silva Barros and Katyucia Lie Hoshino, both of Brazil, have been verified at a combined height of just 181.41 cm (71.42 in), and became world record holders back in September after tying the knot.
Paulo (aged 31 and 90.28 cm (35.54 in) in height),and Katyucia, (28 and 91.13 cm (35.88 in) first met in 2006 through the now defunct social media platform, Orkut.
‘I found her very beautiful from the first moment I saw her,’ he explains.
But Katyucia didn’t reciprocate and at first blocked him on the instant messaging site, before Paulo eventually won her over.
They would chat online regularly for a couple of years before first meeting in person on 20 December 2008. They began dating on 29 December.
They maintained a long distance relationship for four years, managing to see each other every couple of months.
In January 2012, Katyucia decided to move from her hometown of Londrina to Paulo’s town, Itapeva. They did not need to live together long before they knew they were meant to be together.
Paulo, a civil servant for his local government, and Katyucia, beauty salon owner, receive a lot of attention for their height, and not all of it is good. They find that being together attracts more attention – but equally, being together gives them greater strength in dealing with the attention.
Paulo was unable to walk until the age of 21. In an attempt to be more independent, he used a child’s tricycle to aid his mobility in his late teens, and upgraded to a four-wheeler when he turned 20.
Having learned to walk and following the fitting of orthopaedic boots in 2008, he vowed to never use a child’s bike again – he upgraded to a specially fitted out car which he still drives today. His colleagues know him as ‘Paulinho Gigante’ – Giant Paulo.
Speaking ahead of the celebrations on the international day of record breaking, Katyucia said: “We are so happy to be a part of Guinness World Records Day and to have our unique record celebrated. We hope our new record will encourage the world to look past the physical differences in others and understand all people should be treated equally.”
“We may be short but we have big hearts and lots of love for each other as well as everybody in our lives. Our life isn’t without its challenges but we are so happy we can tackle these challenges together.”