Olympic Cross-Country Skier Froze His Genitals Off

An Olympic cross-country skier sustained a nasty injury while competing in the men’s freestyle mass race at the Winter Games in Beijing on Sunday. Due to concerns regarding the risk of frostbite, event organizers delayed the race, and reduced the skiing distance by 40 percent, cutting it from 50 km to 30 km.

However, Finnish athlete Remi Lindholm still suffered “unbearable” frostbite in an unfortunate area while completing the race, which he later described as one of the worst competitions he has ever taken part in. Lindholm reached the finish line in just under an hour and 16 minutes, and despite wearing under-layers, ended the race with a frozen penis.

“You can guess which body part was a little bit frozen when I finished,” Lindholm said in an interview with Finnish media. “It was one of the worst competitions I’ve been in. It was just about battling through.”

Frostbite occurs when sombody exposed to extreme cold, and blood vessels in the hands and feet will constrict in order to direct blood flow (and warmth) back to the center of the body. Without that warm blood flow, the skin temperature of the extremities will plummet—while this is most common in feet, in Lindholm’s case it affected his penis.

“When the body parts started to warm up after the finish, the pain was unbearable,” he added.

This is the second time that Lindholm has suffered a frozen penis while competing in a cross-country skiing event: he had the exact same injury during a race in Ruka, Finland, in 2021. Whether penile frostbite is an occupational hazard when participating in winter sports, or whether Team Finland needs to take a serious look at their athletes’ protective clothing, is unclear.

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