Cross-country skier's private parts freeze in sub-zero Finland event

FILE PHOTO: FIS Nordic Skiing World Cup - Cross-Country - Men's 15km Classic Competition - Ruka, Finland - November 25, 2018. Calle Halfvarsson of Sweden crosses the finish line. Lehtikuva/Markku Ulander via REUTERS/File Photo

(Reuters) - The sub-zero temperatures in Ruka in northern Finland took their toll on Swedish cross-country skier Calle Halfvarsson during a 20 km mass start event on Sunday as he lost all feeling in his private parts.

As the race began the mercury plummeted to minus 15 Celsius (5 Fahrenheit). The 34-year-old eventually crossed the line in 18th place before rushing to the tents where the athletes were warming themselves back up.

"I had frozen my penis for real - I had to lie in there for 10 minutes to warm it up," Halfvarsson told Swedish newspaper Expressen.

The temperatures in Ruka have proven hazardous for male athletes before, with their thin suits and under-layers providing minimal protection against the cold.

"It's lucky my second child is on the way because it's going to be difficult in the future if I continue like this," Halfvarsson said with a laugh.

(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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