World of the Bizarre
Olympic skiing and the hazards of a frozen member
February 24, 2022 · 9 comments
Cross-country skiing can be hazardous to your health. Image Credit: PD - TwoWings
Finnish cross-country skier Remi Lindholm recently reported that an unfortunate part of his anatomy had frozen during an event.
The Olympics has concluded with almost 3,000 athletes, showcasing their skills to the world. While slips, trips and falls are common on the ice and snow, causing embarrassment and injury, spare a thought for Finnish cross-country skier Remi Lindholm who revealed after competing in the 50km skiing event that his penis had frozen during the competition.
Because of the extreme weather in Beijing, officials reduced the race to 30km, and the start was delayed by an hour because of high winds, with the air temp -16C, and the windchill causing it to drop into the minus twenties.
Cross-country skiers only wear very light clothing for the event, so frostbite is a real risk. Indeed, Lindholm suffered from frostbite to this part of his anatomy in Ruka, Finland last year.
Frostbite occurs when exposed skin is subject to temperatures below 0C. The body has an automatic response to cold and one change is to undergo "vasoconstriction", where the blood vessels in the cold area of skin narrow, to prevent blood flowing into the cold area and returning to the body, where it may cause cooler temperatures in and around the vital organs and lead to hypothermia.
The body is programmed to keep the core of our body at 37C for optimal function. The vasoconstriction also prevents ice crystals from forming in the blood and tissues, when they drop to -4C or below and begin to destroy the tissue structure.
, Professor and Director of the Clinical Anatomy Learning Centre, Lancaster University
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Source: The Conversation
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