Soccer fan Henrik Gerdin is a contented man. His team scored a late equalizer, he won a bet and his heart rate officially rose above orgasm level.
The 25-year-old Swede was part of an ongoing World Cup experiment by England's Loughborough University to test the effect that placing a bet on a game of soccer has on fans' heart rates. "The heart rates that we have recorded throughout the first stage of the study are in line with those experienced by an individual reaching sexual climax, and in some cases greater than that," said Loughborough's Prof. Ron Maughan, whose research expertise includes nutrition of exercise performance.
The study will last as long as England remains in the World Cup and measures levels of stress - or excitement - experienced by English fans and supporters of teams playing England. Gerdin bet 100 pounds ($182; euro145) at 20-1 on Sweden drawing 2-2 with England in their Group B match. Henrik Larsson scored a 90th minute equalizer in the June 20 encounter for a full-time score of 2-2, triggering wild celebrations by Swedish fans in the Cologne stadium _ and Gerdin in the London control room.
"He was literally going crazy," said Simon Greening, an England fan also participating in the experiment. "I would have been too." All participating fans were paid 100 pounds by gambling Web site betfair.com, sponsors of the study, and half the supporters were required to place a bet.