Naked sledgers brave nippy temperatures
Published: 19 Feb 2012 10:53 GMT+01:00
The sleepy Lower Saxony town of Braunlage was transformed into the global centre of naked sledging at the weekend, with 17 men and 13 women hopping aboard sledges to throw themselves down the slopes.
Markus Schenkenberg, one of the original Calvin Klein models from the early 1990s, even graced the slopes with his presence, but only came fifth.
Braunlage is normally the haunt of those looking for peace and quiet in the mountains or taking skiing lessons - but on Saturday it was filled with naked sledging fans, who were joined by hundreds of thousands following the action via live stream on the internet.
Despite the name, racers were not totally nude – competitors in the annual competition have to wear a helmet, shoes and a pair of undies. But this is not due to the nippy weather conditions – safety always comes first, organisers said.
A warm-up ladies-only round kicked off the event, which is in its fourth year, meaning onlookers got to see 25-year-old porn star Mia Magma whizzing down the 89 metre long run not once, but twice.
Drizzle and almost freezing temperatures failed to dampen the enthusiasm of fans who cheered the winner, a 37-year-old man from Hannover who walked away with the €1,000 prize.
Celebrations continued into the night, with live music and nudity-enthusiast Micaela Schäfer entertaining the crowd with her DJ skills.
The event, organised by radio station 89.0 RTL, has been gaining in popularity - two years ago just 14,000 people turned up to watch.