By George Ramsay and Li-Lian Ahlskog Hou, CNN
(CNN) — Swedish cross-country skier Calle Halfvarsson experienced an unusual but not unheard-of consequence of competing in icy temperatures in Finland at the weekend.
After taking part in the 20-kilometer World Cup event in Ruka, Halfvarsson said that he had to take shelter in the warmth after sustaining a frozen penis.
According to Reuters, temperatures dropped to a chilly five degrees Farenheit (-15 degrees Celsius) at the start of the race.
“I have frozen my penis. For real,” Halfvarsson told Swedish outlet Expressen. “Damn, I had to lie in there [the athletes’ tent] for 10 minutes to warm it up. It hurts so damn much. It’s terrible.”
Halfvarsson has suffered the same injury before, Expressen said, but thankfully the 34-year-old was able to see the funny side this time around, adding: “It’s lucky that I’m about to have my second child because it’s going to be difficult in the future if I’m going to continue like this.”
Norwegian Jan Thomas Jenssen topped the podium at Sunday’s race, ahead of Czech Republic’s Michel Novák in second and teammate Harald Østberg Amundsen in third. Halfvarsson was the first Swede across the line in 18th.
Cross-country skiers, who normally compete in skin-tight racing suits and thin under-layers, can be particularly susceptible to chilly extremities.
At the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, Finland’s Remi Leindholm suffered from a frozen penis and needed to apply a heat pack to the affected area at the end of the 50km mass start race. Leindholm, like Halfvarsson, had also previously experienced a frozen penis while competing in Ruka.
Asked by Expressen if he could describe the sensation, Halfvarsson said: “No. Those who know, they know. But here’s a tip from me. Stay away from it, because it is the worst thing you can experience.”
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