Thursday, 12 August 2010

Daft Things to do in a Sauna #1

Competition is a great thing. And humans can make a sport out of just about anything. Whether it’s chasing a cheese down a hill or doing something with a ball on muddy field in the middle of February. Indeed, more spherical objects are employed by sport than for the procreation of the species.
Standing on one leg for a fortnight is pretty impressive and one would imagine, fairly harmless.
In the land of razorblade eating and cobras up the trousers however, some ‘sports’ are an accident waiting to happen.
That’s because they are derived from taking something that was fairly mundane and ‘maxing’ it to the extreme.
Why be the world juggling champion using the aforesaid balls, when you can be the world juggling champion using meat-cleavers, chainsaws or nitro-glycerine?

You might get it wrong. If you do – you won’t get much sympathy.
And, unlike the relatively safe, winning Olympic Gold or lifting the World Cup, very few people will ever be aware of your achievement. 

And so to Finland.

The annual World Sauna Championships in Finland have ended with the death of one of the finalists.

The event, which had over 130 participants from 15 countries, had been held since 1999.
This time round though, it ended in tragedy with Russian Vladimir Ladyzhensky and his Finnish rival, the defending world champion Timo Kaukonen, collapsing after suffering severe burns. Mr Ladyzhensky later died in hospital.

This half-baked – half-grilled competition requires that half a litre of water be added to the stove inside the sauna every 30 seconds, with the participants having to withstand temperatures of 110C (230F) for as long as possible. Last person remaining merely parboiled, is the winner.
The men managed six minutes before judges noticed something amiss.

Ossi Arvela, chief organiser told the press there was no prize other than "some small things".
A few bottles of Calamine Lotion and an ice-lolly surely.

The organisers said that the World Sauna Championships would never be held again.
To be replaced with the annual Sitting Inside a Nuclear Reactor Championships – no doubt.
And, you wouldn’t be surprised when some people applied for an entry form.