Canadian freeskier Noah Bowman used to be allergic to the cold.
The rare condition, “cold urticaria,” came out of nowhere four years ago, when he was 17, he told reporters earlier this week.
He couldn’t hold cereal bowls with cold milk in them, and he once went temporarily blind from jumping into cold water (via the Toronto Sun):
“I started having swelling in my hands when I touched cold things and it kept getting worse to the point that when holding my cereal bowl in the morning, the cold milk would make my hand swell.
“I just thought it was so weird, but didn’t think a whole lot about it, and jumped into a really cold lake one time. I ended up having an anaphylactic reaction where my throat swelled up. I went completely blind and lost my energy for a little while.”
The disease causes hives and swelling when it the skin is exposed to temperatures below 40 degrees.
Bowman says he never thought about giving up skiing, and made a concerted effort to cover up his skin from the cold on the mountain.
He says he grew out of the disease a year later.
“It just faded away and I am not affected by it any more,” he said.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there’s a type of the disease called “primary acquired urticaria” that appears in children and young adults, and goes away in two or three years.
In the ski halfpipe on Tuesday, Bowman finished fifth, missing the podium by fewer than six points.
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