‘It was really bad’: Ski star admits to frozen penis nightmare after watching racers risk amputation horror from brutal frostbite
Cross-country competitor Halfvarsson was astonished as brave athletes suffered in the most punishing of conditions at the endurance event in Switzerland, which left his countryman, Michael Eklof, at risk of losing his big toe after developing necrosis.
German racer Patrick Ottilinger could also lose two fingers on his hand after being treated in hospital, and relay champion Frida Karlsson admitted that gory photos of the participants' frozen digits had made her "vomit".
"The worst I've been through? It was in Finland once," Halfvarsson told Aftonbladet, which elaborated that he was talking about the pain he had experienced "between the legs".
"Then it was really cold and I did not freeze on my fingers or feet, but I froze on another thing.
"That was the worst thing I've been through. Then I thought about whether I should stop skiing. It was... during competition. I was barely getting to the finish line. It was unbelievably cold."
Eklof, who thanked friends last week for sending him tubs of luxury ice-cream as he continued his recovery, has conceded that he expects to be out of action for at least two months and does not yet know the full severity of his injuries and whether his toe will survive.
Norwegian Andreas Nygaard has portrayed himself using his heavily-bandaged hands to eat pizza, and veteran medalist Britta Johansson Norgren posted a photo of her feet under wraps while predicting that her recovery could take up to six weeks.
"I think it's very strange that you are out and about and do not feel that you are starting to freeze in your fingers and toes," said Halfvarsson.
"You usually feel that way… and then you have to stop and shake out blood in your hands and feet.
"You cannot risk ruining your whole life just to complete a competition. I actually do not really understand how it happened.
"It’s very strange that during the race you don’t feel the frostbite in your fingers and toes. It is usually felt immediately.
"At such a moment, you need to stop and ensure the circulation of blood in the legs and arms. You can't risk your life to compete."Also on rt.com ‘I’m in pain’: Two skiers face amputation threat after being hospitalized by excruciating frostbite from race at minus 28 degrees