One dead, one injured at sauna world championship

Annual competition cancelled after finalist dies in 110°C heat

Finland’s annual world sauna championship has been called off for good following the death of a Russian competitor after he spent six minutes enduring a temperature of 110°C. Vladimir Ladyzhenskiy was pronounced dead after being dragged out of the sauna by judges. Police are investigating the cause of death. Finn competitor Timo Kaukonen was also pulled out and is being treated in hospital for burns. Ladyzhenskiy and Kaukonen beat out 130 other competitors to make it to the final, where the sauna is heated to 110°C and water is added every 30 seconds. The last person to remain in the sauna wins. Ossi Arvela, head of the championships, said all first aid rules were followed at the event, but the event will be suspended as police investigate.

The Guardian




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One dead, one injured at sauna world championship

  1. At first I thought the temperature started out at 110 Fahrenheit, and escalated. 110 Celcius is madness!

  2. Isn't 100 C the boiling point of water? What genius came up with this idea?

  3. Crazy! What a stupid contest.

  4. The real question is: who is dumbest ? The people organizing the event, or the contestants ?

    I'm convinced I could get people to stab themselves in the nuts if it was a tournament with a $20 prize. I'd gladly pay up to watch a bunch of half-wits sterilize themselves.

  5. This is the intersection of Stupidity & Bravado. Tell me Mr. Arvela didn't benefit in any way, and hence why he should not be prosecuted.

  6. This actually reminds me of that stupid "Hold your wee for a Wii" radio contest, where contestants had to drink ridiculous volumes of water (almost 2 gallons!) and "hold it" the longest. The 'winning' contestant died of water intoxication, and a lawsuit was filed.

  7. Lobsterboy: Whilst I can in no way condone this ridiculous contest, which has nothing whatsoever in common with sauna, there is no madness in a sauna heated to 110 degrees Celsius.

    It is slightly above the norm of 80-90C, but not extreme. What made this a lethal dose was a mixture of high humidity (water was sloshed on the stones at a prodigious rate) and the stubbornness (read: stupidity) of the final two contestants. Rest assured, your blood will NOT boil in 110C – providing the humidity remains low.

    However, making what should be a relaxing pastime into a "last man/woman sitting" contest is ASKING for Darwin Awards candidates to step forward. The biggest surprise is that it has not happened in the previous eleven competitions since 1999.

    • 90-80C is room temp? you are one fin short of a fish mon retarrrrr

      • "It is slightly above the norm of 80-90C, but not extreme."

        He didn't say "room" temperature. I believe he meant 80-90C is the norm for the average sauna.

      • I have one (sauna) in my backyard and I simply LOVE IT!! Perfect temperature is about 75C.

  8. I have to agree with WM, Finland. I'm Finnish Canadian and most saunas I've been in are usually around that temperature. Extremely hot yes, but most of us Finns who've spent a great deal of time in saunas know when too much is enough and we get the hell out. However, as is too often the case, common sense isn't that common. I don't know how "endurance" contests like this are even allowed to be run at all. I'm also shocked that it took 11 of these contests to finally kill someone.

  9. Think of it as evolution in action.

  10. It seems few of you know what you are talking about. The temperature of 110 º C is fine and poses no danger UNLESS the humidity is cranked up. These people are nuts.

  11. I regularly use the (dry) sauna at 110 to 120 º Celsius. I observe rules like not sitting but reclining lest one prefers to stress the body through major temperature differences between regions of the body. There is no stress and no danger for the vast majority of people unless a major illness is present that contraindicates the sauna. The core temperature will rise by about 1 º maximum at the temperatures mentioned and temp in the limbs will be similar to the head and chest etc. Unless the humidity is cranked up or the body is or becomes dehydrated no ill efects will occur. I am amazed that this kind of foolishness was done in Finland.

  12. And one more: You may safely and easily cook your eggs and bacon on the bench next to you in the sauna. They will reach done "well done" while you detox. Safely.

    • Weelll… yes, though frankly the idea of the sauna smelling like an "all-you-can-eat English Breakfast" greasy spoon doesn't exactly fill me with enthusiasm.

      Funny though, how intensely dim people are about these things – "it MUST be 110F; "your blood will boil, blah blah blah".

      Which only makes it that much harder to understand why the Finns sanctioned the idea of something that would rather scare people away from sauna than encourage them to try it (and eventually buy a Finnish-made sauna stove or complete package from one of the exporting companies).

      The word is, by the way, that the humidity levels were deliberately heightened (500ml of water every 30 seconds is quite absurd) in order to shorten the times in the sauna, so as not to bore the spectators, who were probably less than eager to watch nothing much happening for 15 to 20 minutes as people sat comfortably in the sauna. Most contestants DID come out pretty quick, but there's no limit apparently to the competitive urge.

  13. yup..Bill, seems to me like it's "how's the dumbest" and the dumbest one is dead!!

  14. Darwin award material

  15. what a dumbass contest… what next..who can survive the most gunshots to the head?

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