For 75 year old New York based weight-lifter, humanitarian and world harmony leader Sri Chinmoy, the choice to lift Thumbelina, a miniature horse standing just 44.5 centimetres tall was obvious—he has made a practise of lifting people, unusual objects—even animals of all shapes and sizes, a novel and inspiring twist to the normally mundane practise of lifting weights into the air.
Less than two weeks after lifting 58 white “wind horses” in Mongolia, Sri Chinmoy not only lifted Thumbelina—at 57 pounds (25kg) just heavy enough to incur a penalty if you took her to an airport in a suitcase—but her owner Michael Goessling and handler Tago DePietro as well, a combined weight of 568lbs (257kg) lifted on a specially constructed machine.
Founder of the global Oneness-Heart-Tears and Smiles humanitarian organisation, Sri Chinmoy awarded the tiny horse the Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart award, in recognition of her tireless strides to aid children. The award, where recipients are honoured by being physically lifted overhead by the weightlifting and fitness advocate, has previously been given to 8,000 people. And now one very small horse.
Thumbelina is no ordinary horse, and more important than her diminutive stature may suggest. Inspiration and namesake for the Thumbelina Children’s Society, this miniature chestnut mare rides an uplifting mission of her own—raising money and awareness for children in need around the world. Says Michael Goessling, “Every day, thousands of people fall in love with Thumbelina and every day, she gets one step closer to fulfilling her mission. She is a blessing that we are thrilled to share with the world.”
Thumbelina’s fund raising activities benefit disabled children and children with cancer, and her owners have set a goal of raising one million dollars this year alone.
And why does Sri Chinmoy use weight, and now horse-lifting, as the foundation for his very special award? In his own words, to encourage people to strive to fulfil their dreams—as a child intuitively does: “If we remain in a childlike heart, then age can never be a barrier and there is no end to our progress.”
What’s next for this animal lifting poet, author, musician and founder of many humanitarian initiatives? Lifting airplanes, cars, motorcycles and boats of course…
- Photos of the lift and award ceremony
- Sri Chinmoy
- Thumbelina—the world’s smallest horse
- World’s Tallest, Smallest Horses Lifted, Literally—Sri Chinmoy lifts Radar, the world’s tallest horse.
Photo credit: Thumbelina lifted overhead by Jowan Gauthier.