“It is not so unusual to have

110°C in a sauna. A lot of competitors before have sat in higher temperatures than that.”

–Championship Chief, Ossi Arvela.


The World Sauna Championship was an annual event that took place in Finland from 1991 to 2010. Bathing at extreme temperatures is considered a huge health risk and the contestants had to sign an undertaking that any health hazards caused would be at their own risk. The participants were also required to present a doctor’s certificate before taking part in the competition. Rules in the competition required the sauna to be heated to 110 C (230 F). Water was added to the stove every 30 seconds and the last person to remain in the sauna would win.

Vladimir Ladyzhenskiy was pronounced dead after being dragged from the sauna by judges. Police were investigating the cause of death. Another competitor, Timo Kaukonen from Finland, was also pulled out and is being treated in hospital for burns.

Ladyzhensky was believed to have come third in the contest, a year before. However, after his death, the contest has been officially banned.