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Sauna World Championships

Held annually each August in Heinola, Finland, the World Sauna Championships are growing in size and popularity each year. As many as 80 participants from 16 different countries participate in front of upwards of 3,000 fans.

Sauna competitions were a tradition among friends as people challenged each other to handle the heat of a sauna for longer than they could. Amazingly, this has grown into a huge affair in which participants attempt to outlast the other competitors in a 110 degree celcius sauna. In order to add to the challenge, every 30 seconds, a half litre of water is poured on the sauna heater, creating volumes of steam. Competitors are required to sit in the Sauna with buttocks and thighs on the seat. Posture must be erect; elbows must stay on the knees, and arms have to be in an upright position. Touching skin with hands or disturbing the other competitors is strictly forbidden. The competitor will have to leave the Sauna without outside help, otherwise he/she will be disqualified from the competition. The last person to get out of the Sauna is the World Sauna Champion.

World Sauna Champions

Year Men Women
1999 Ahti Merivirta Katri Kämäräinen
2000 Leo Pusa Katri Kämäräinen
2001 Leo Pusa Annikki Peltonen
2002 Leo Pusa Annikki Peltonen
2003 Timo Kaukonen Natallia Tryfanava
2004 Leo Pusa Natallia Tryfanava
2005 Timo Kaukonen Natallia Tryfanava
2006 Timo Kaukonen Leila Kulin

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