The latest Sauna World Championships ended in tragedy on Saturday 7th August 2010 when one of the finalists died. Vladimir Ladyzhenskiy, a Russian amateur wrestler in his 60’s, along with rival veteran Timo Kaukonen both collapsed with severe burns after about 6 minutes into the round.
Sadly, Vladimir Ladyzhenskiy died late on Saturday. Hakon Eikesdal, a Norwegian photographer reported that both were shaking and bleeding from what appeared to be severe burns. Ossi Arvela, a competition organiser said that the competition will never be held again after this tragic occurrence. Timo Kaukonen is reported to be in stable condition in hospital as of Sunday.
Tapio from Lahti, Finland comments: “I’ll begin by saying that the temperature or the duration of the stay aren’t the worst parts, it’s the humidity that hurts and in this competition 0.5 litres of water is tossed on the hot stones every 30 seconds. That’s what I call insane! Most Finns don’t look up to these people who just want to see who has the biggest tolerance for pain by scalding themselves. I for one enjoy bathing in a sauna and feel that sauna is a nicely warm place for people to escape daily routines, not about searing oneself. If anyone of you ever visit Finland and still – after this horrible incident – dare to visit a sauna, please do! It just might change your minds!”