Finn Sweats it Out at Sauna Championship

Competitors bring the heat, but victor lasts 12 minutes at 266F
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2007 11:00 AM CDT
Temperatures in the traditional smoke sauna peak at 248 degrees, "the hottest place a human being goes on a voluntary basis," says Lasse Viinikka, the chairman of the Finnish Sauna Society.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Hometown favorite Timo Kaukonen was in it for glory, not relaxation, at the Sauna World Championships in Finland. Kaukonen was crowned prince of perspiration, but not before enduring 12 minutes and 26 seconds in a glass-walled sauna on a theater stage. The heat started at 230F and climbed to 266F by the time Timo climbed out.

The top two contenders in both the male and female categories were all Finns, but participants from countries as far afield as Egypt and Morocco also proved that they could take the heat. Competitors were bound by few rules, but weren't allowed to stand up or wipe their sweat.