Finland’s Remi Lindholm suffered a frozen penis as he revealed the brutal aftermath of the men’s 50km mass start race at the Beijing Winter Olympic Games.
Lindholm, who finished the race in 28th, needed a heat pack afterwards having spent just under an hour and 16 minutes on the course.
Organisers had already raised concerns about frostbite, delaying the race by an hour and shortening it by 20 kilometres to try account for the freezing conditions.
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It did little to help Lindholm though, who told Finnish media about his uncomfortable ordeal.
“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 said. “It was just about battling through.”
“When the body parts started to warm up after the finish, the pain was unbearable,” he added.
Unfortunately for Lindholm it was not the first time it had happened either, with the 24-year-old suffering a similar ordeal last year in Finland.
British cross-country skier Andrew Musgrave savaged the “absolutely ridiculous” decision to slash the mass start event to 30km because of freezing winds.
Temperatures plunged to minus 17 degrees Celsius (1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) for the shortened race, but Musgrave was less than impressed by the change after finishing 12th.
“I thought it was a ridiculous decision,” said the 31-year-old.
“If it’s warm enough to race then I don’t see why doing an hour and a quarter or 30km, compared to two hours in the 50km, makes it any better.
“It’s still the same temperature, it’s still the same wind, so I thought it was an absolutely ridiculous decision.”
Organisers blamed “strong winds” for the change to the length of the race, but Musgrave said: “I haven’t got a clue why they did it. To be honest, I don’t know what they were thinking. Seems a little bit strange to me.”
Alexander Bolshunov won gold, his third of the Beijing Games, ahead of his fellow Russian Ivan Yakimushkin.
Yakimushkin called it “the right decision” to make the race 30km.
“It was a unanimous decision by all the teams to shorten it due to the weather conditions so that the athletes would not freeze or come down with serious illnesses after this race,” he said.