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Competitors flock to Finland to see how long they can stand being in a sauna with Rick Reilly

Following in the footsteps of illustrious events such as the World Wife-Carrying Championships and the World Cellphone Throwing Championships, the World Sauna Championships were held in Finland this weekend.

Competitors faced off to see who could stand being in a 110 degrees Celsius (230 Fahrenheit) sauna the longest. For the 3rd straight year, Timo Kaukonen (pictured above) won the men’s competition, surviving in the heat and humidity for 12 minutes and 26 seconds. Leila Kulin was the top female, lasting for 10 minutes and 31 seconds.

But that’s not the only part of the story. As I was watching this video about the event, I recognized one of the contestants.


Yes, that’s Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly. Reilly was listed at 101-1 odds to win the event and suffice to say, he did not win. In his interview, he said, “It was nice of them to even let me enter when I think I’d only been in a sauna 5 times before… in my life. So it was crazy, but it was fun.”

There’s no word on how long Rick Reilly lasted in the sauna or if he drove any other competitors to leave early. However, I’m sure he will write about his experience soon, with more vivid details about his sweaty nether regions than we ever wanted or needed to know.

Sources: (, Yahoo, Centrebet (via Google cache))

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