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Guinness World Records declares northern Minnesota family tallest in world

The Trapp family of five has an average height of 6 feet, 8 inches.

The Trapp family, of Esko, stands in front of the Duluth North Pier Lighthouse.
The Trapp family, of Esko, has been named the tallest family in the world by Guinness World Records. Standing in front of the Duluth North Pier Lighthouse, from left: Adam Trapp, Savanna Trapp-Blanchfield, Scott Trapp, Molly Steede and Krissy Trapp.
Contributed / Peter Walkowiak
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ESKO, Minn. — The Trapp family understands if you're staring at them when they walk into a room, or ask "How tall are you?" and "Do you play basketball?" As the official tallest family in the world, they're used to it by now.

Adam Trapp, who is both the youngest and the tallest in the family at just under 7 feet, 4 inches tall, said he's usually the tallest person in the room, and has been able to meet many interesting people because of it.

“When people come up and ask you how tall you are, it’s almost an icebreaker and it opens the door for conversation,” the 22-year-old said.

Another icebreaker could be to ask Adam Trapp, his sisters and his parents how it feels to be in the book of Guinness World Records. The franchise contacted Adam's 6-foot-8.5-inch-tall sister, Savanna Trapp-Blanchfield, 27, on Feb. 10 to confirm that the family of five had broken the record for the tallest family in the world.

The Trapps made their world record attempt in December 2020 by taking measurements of each family member, then finding the average height of the family — which is 6 feet, 8.03 inches.

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The Trapp family of Esko stands in front of the aerial lift bridge in Duluth
The tallest family in the world, the Trapps, of Esko, Minnesota, stand in front of the aerial lift bridge in Duluth. From left: Krissy Trapp, Molly Steede, Scott Trapp, Savanna Trapp-Blanchfield and Adam Trapp.
Contributed / Peter Walkowiak

"We tease our mom (Krissy Trapp) because she’s only 6 feet, 3.5 inches, like, ‘You’re bringing down the family average, Mom!’" Trapp-Blanchfield said. "And she’s like, ‘None of you would even be here without me, so you’re welcome for your world record.'”

By any measurement, he’s a game-changer.

The family recruited Duluth orthopedic sports medicine doctor Ann Sudoh to help with the measurements, which needed to be recorded by a medical professional. Esko is located between Duluth and Cloquet. Sudoh said she had to measure each family member both standing up and laying down in the morning, afternoon and evening.

"I thought, well, this is kind of a random request, but it was pretty fun,” Sudoh said. "I was honored that they asked me to be a part of it. I wasn’t surprised at all that they were able to get the record because they are quite tall.”

Because of processing times at Guinness World Records, the Trapps waited over a year for the confirmation of the record, but had already reaped many benefits from their heights.

Border Battle
Esko's Savanna Trapp dunks during the Border Battle All-Star game intermission at Romano Gym in Duluth in March 2017.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune

All three Trapp children were offered athletic scholarships for college. Adam attends the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, South Dakota, where he was recruited to play basketball, and his 24-year-old sister, Molly Steede, who is 6 feet, 6 inches tall, played volleyball at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Trapp-Blanchfield attended the University of California, Los Angeles on a basketball scholarship, although she was medically retired after her freshman year due to multiple head traumas.

She said bumping her head on door frames and exit signs has happened frequently, as has falling down the stairs because her size 16 feet don't fit on the steps. Her 6-foot-8-inch father, Scott, had to remove all the ceiling fans in their home because the kids kept running into the spinning fan blades.

“If you’ve ever hit your head on a spinning ceiling fan, it’s not the most fun thing to do,” Adam Trapp said.

The Trapp kids said their parents always raised them to consider their height a blessing, and to be proud of who they are.

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“If everybody’s looking at us, we want to make sure we’re setting a good example,” Steede said.

Steede, whose husband, Dalton, is 6 feet, 9 inches tall, said she hopes to raise a tall family of her own someday. The Trapp siblings said growing up, they always had a supportive community in their parents and siblings who understood what it was like to be taller than average.

The technical foul she received last week for dunking at halftime of a game against Silver Bay was a first for the 6-foot-8 Esko junior.

“The nice thing about all of us being tall is you never felt lonely or a complete misfit," Trapp-Blanchfield said. "You always had someone that you could relate to.”

Krissy Trapp has been a "superstar" at online shopping, Steede said, and would order everyone custom clothing to make sure it fit. Adam also received size 21 shoe donations from friends in the National Basketball Association that he met while playing basketball for the Amateur Athletic Association.

hoops
Molly Trapp (now Steede), of Esko, shoots the ball against International Falls during the championship game of the Esko Coaches Classic basketball tournament in 2017.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune

The Trapps value being able to live ordinary lives, despite now being world-record holders. Scott works for the city of Duluth; Krissy is a certified nursing assistant; Savanna works in social services; Molly is a second grade teacher in Duluth; and Adam expects to graduate college in May with a degree in biomedical engineering.

“All of our friends say they don’t even really notice that we’re tall anymore," Adam Trapp said. "Our personalities take over that initial factor, and there’s more to us than just our height.”

However, the family is extremely proud to be officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the tallest family in the world. Guinness World Records will send officials to Esko in March to take photos and videos for the record book and social media, and to conduct interviews with the Trapps.

“I think it’s a huge accomplishment, literally and figuratively. We’re very large people,” Steede said.

Related Topics: ESKOPEOPLE
Laura Butterbrodt covers health for the Duluth News Tribune. She has a bachelor of arts in journalism from South Dakota State University and has been working as a reporter in Minnesota and South Dakota since 2014.
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