Over the weekend, 135 of the world’s top athletes gathered in Heinola, Finland to compete in the World Sauna Championships. Hold on, let’s start this over. On Saturday, 135 dudes showed up in Heinola to sit in a sauna until they couldn’t take it anymore, and when the schvitz settled, local Finnish hero and defending champion Timo Kaukonen was declared the winner. Because his opponent in the finals died.
After six minutes in a 110-degree Celsius (that’s 230 degrees Fahrenheit to us Yanks) sauna with Kaukonen, Russia’s Vladimir Ladyzhenskiy wasn’t looking so hot, for lack of a better term. Event officials opened the doors to the sauna and both competitors collapsed. Kaukonen had successfully defended his title thanks to his signature move – having a pulse. Ladyzhenskiy’s death put an immediate end to the final round, certainly disappointing fans of watching people die in a sweaty box.
Is it hot in here or is it just me, Associated Foreign Press:
Police launched an investigation, he said, insisting that “all the rules were followed” and that all the contestants had undergone medical checks before the competition began.
According to Finnish news agency STT, the contest was cut short after about six minutes, and when the doors were opened, both finalists collapsed.
One witness told the news agency they had both suffered serious burns, but Arvela could not confirm the information.
The World Sauna Championships have taken place since 1999, and Ladyzhenskiy’s death is the first black eye in the event’s history. Ladyzhenskiy had been considered a favorite for sitting in the dangerous heat leading into the event, but his death puts an end to his hopes of winning the season MVP.
You can view complete photos of the event’s unfortunate results here but if you’re like me, you’d probably rather look at a picture of an awesome monkey tattoo.