Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Sad Post

I feel this is a very sad news story, but one that I needed to post on my blog of all things Finnish. From the BBC via Gawker:

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

Russian finalist Vladimir Ladyzhensky and Finnish rival Timo Kaukonen were both taken to hospital after collapsing and Mr Ladyzhensky later died.

The event, which has been running since 1999, requires participants to withstand 110C for as long as possible.

Its chief organiser said all the rules of the event had been followed.

The competition was held in Heinola, 138km (86 miles) north of Helsinki.

Organiser Ossi Arvela said in a statement that the organisers were grief stricken at the events.

Mr Arvela said the police were already at the venue and were undertaking an investigation.

He said: "All the rules were followed and there was enough first aid personnel. All the competitors needed to sign in to the competition with a doctor's certificate."

Mr Kaukonen, who was last year's champion, is being treated in hospital at the city of Lahti.

Still pictures from the event released by news wires showed the pair being treated after having collapsed, apparently suffering burns.

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