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Illustration: Sam Woolley (GMG)

Welcome to Meat Sack, a guide to sports-related body horror. Todayís column is about freezing to death.

Sometimes, right before freezing to death, a person will get naked.

It is also true that a shirtless man, found frozen so rigidly he had to be transported like a desk, whole and immobile, was afterward thawed out and survived. But then again, itís also true that a person can die of hypothermia at temperatures above freezing, like the Army Ranger candidates who froze to death during a training exercise in a Florida swamp. The cold is a murderous thing, but it also holds within it the power to save, like when trauma surgeons pump dying bodies full of chilled liquids, slowing a patientís metabolism and buying precious time. Cold can cause squeals of delight in the summer months, soothe damaged muscles after injury, and steal fingertips, toes, tips of noses. It has left a trail of bodies up Everest. It is a fucking menace.

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