GREAT Britain has celebrated winning its fair share of gold medals over the years.
But it has not yet won a medal for naked sledding.
Now, two Oxfordshire residents are in the running to represent Britain in the Naked Sledding World Championship 2014.
Francis Thomas, a student at Brasenose College at Oxford University, and Dave Algar, a leisure centre worker from Carterton, are trying to win a public vote to hit the slopes.
Almost 500 people applied in just two weeks to take part in the competition, and the two Oxfordshire men have made the final 10.
Mr Algar, 23, said: “I saw it was happening on a post on Facebook and thought it looked like good fun.
“This is potentially my last opportunity to do something this crazy before I become an RAF officer and have to be a bit more proper and grown up. It should be a good laugh.”
And Mr Thomas, 19, said he was shocked to discover he had made it to the final 10.
He said: “My friend Lara – who is another finalist from London – signed me up and thought it would be a good idea without telling me until I got through. I’m worried about the ice burns – they look quite painful.”
Mike Chidzey, spokesman for extreme activity blog Chillisauce.co.uk, which organised the competition to pick the finalists, said: “We’re ecstatic so many people applied. We had such a hard choice when selecting the top 10, but now we need the public’s help to determine the two lucky winners.”
The two people with the most votes will go through to the finals in Braunlage in the Harz Mountains in Germany on February 15.
Mr Algar, who works as a duty manager at Carterton Leisure Centre, said he is relying on friends and family to vote for him. He said: “I’m asking them all to show it to their mates and workmates, and we’ll take it from there.”
But Mr Thomas, who studies French and German, said: “I’m not going to tell my family about it but I’ve been sending it around to my friends and asking them to pass it on – hopefully a few votes will swing my way.”
Finalists will sled down a mountain in Braunlage in just their pants, shoes, gloves and a safety helmet.
Thirty finalists representing 15 countries will race down an 89-metre track and the first man and woman will win €1,000 each.
This is the first time countries other than Germany, Austria and Norway have been allowed to enter the competition, now in its fifth year.
- Competitors can only wear pants, shoes, gloves and helmet
- They must remain lying on their stomach while on the sledge
- They can only use their hands to propel themselves forward.
- Results will be announced on Wednesday. To vote visit blog.chillisauce.co.uk