KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – The circus has the bearded lady. Now snowboardcross has the mustachioed gold medalist.
Eva Samkova, a bubbly 20-year-old from the Czech Republic, dominated the demanding course at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, benefitting from the semifinal crash of American Lindsey Jacobellis, her top challenger. And Samkova did so wearing a painted-on mustache above her top lip.
"It's for luck," Samkova said of the red-white-and-blue fauxstache, the colors resembling a Czech flag.
Samkova first wore the mustache at the 2011 Snowboarding World Championships in La Molina, Spain, and said she painted it because "I wanted to have fun."
Her Olympic mustache starred in the aftermath of her decisive victory over Canadian Dominique Maltais (silver) and Chloe Trespeuch (bronze) of France. At the bottom of the course, Samkova removed a helmet emblazoned with wolves, chucked her board and started a celebration befitting of someone who braved the jumps and bumps of the snowboardcross course with style in both performance and facial hair.
"Today is special," Samkova said, "so it's a special mustache."
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