Morteza Mehrzas was born in Chalus, Mazandaran, Iran on September 17, 1982. Morteza uses crutches and a wheelchair because he was involved in a bike accident when he was 16 years old. The bike accident injured his right legs and made his right leg to stop growing. In fact, his right leg is 6 inches shorter than the left leg. Morteza suffers from a health condition called acromegaly, which occurs when the pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone. The condition is caused by a non-cancerous tumor.
Morteza is currently the tallest sitting volleyball player in the world and tallest man in Iran at 8 feet 1 inch. He towers above his competitors in sitting volleyball. Morteza first appeared in sitting volleyball games in 2016 in Rio De Janeiro. When Morteza is sitting, his right arm can strike the ball 6 feet 4 inches off the ground, and for a game like sitting volley, height is very important.
For Morteza, a young man who was left to live in seclusion because he was considered strange by family and friends, becoming a sitting volleyball player, and representing Iran in a competition where other great countries are participating is a realization of joy, potential, and inclusion.
Morteza was discovered by Iran volleyball coach, Hadi Rezseigarkani in 2015 while playing for a local club called Samen Al Hojjaj Sabzevar. ‘’When I first saw Morteza, I knew I had found an asset for my team because height is important in the game of sitting volley, I gave him good training, and took him to the 2016 Paralympics games. He is still undergoing training; he has so far been a good scorer,’’ Coach Hadi Rezseigarkani said.
As a sitting volleyball player, Morteza plays as an outside hitter. He took his team to the final of the 2016 summer Paralympics sitting volleyball finals where he was named the match top scorer with 28 points.
Image credit: Photo by Author