The men’s 50km mass start skiiing race at the Beijing Games was shortened to 30km but that did little to help Finland’s Remi Lindholm, who needed a heat pack at the end of the race to thaw out a particularly sensitive body part.
Lindholm spent just under an hour and 16 minutes traversing the course in howling, freezing winds, leading to his penis becoming frozen for the second time in a cross-country skiing race, following a similar incident in Ruka, Finland last year.
“You can guess which body part was a little bit frozen when I finished … it was one of the worst competitions I’ve been in,” he told Finnish media. “It was just about battling through.”
With organisers worried about frostbite during Saturday’s race, it was delayed by an hour and shortened by 20km. The thin suits and under-layers worn by racers, as well as plasters to cover their faces and ears, offered little protection.
Lindholm explained that he used a heat pack to try to thaw out his appendage once the race was over. “When the body parts started to warm up after the finish, the pain was unbearable,” he added.