Gold in the freestyle

Did you hear? The United States took six gold medals over the weekend.

No, I’m not a year early for the Olympics. The event to which I’m referring didn’t take place in London but rather, in Trondheim, Norway: the biennial World Beard & Mustache Championships, considered to be the premier competition of the world’s facial hair elite.

Following last weekend’s competitions, organizers announced that Keith Haubrich “completed the three-peat in Freestyle Moustache. Newcomers to the world stage Bill Mitchell from Georgia and Giovanni Dominice from Arizona won in Partial Beard Freestyle and Imperial Moustache respectively.” For an interpretation of what this means, and to get a sense of the hairy-ness of the competition, do spend time on your lunch hour today combing through the organization’s website, which is translated into 19 languages.

In case you were wondering, I didn’t happen on the news by trolling obscure sources for blog topics. This world event was covered by CNN, which ran a pre-event story online last Friday and used up all the good hair puns (e.g., the competition has its roots in a 1990 event).

A couple of quotes CNN ran caught my eye. Ole Skibnes, the president of the host Norwegian Moustache Club, said, “You can’t just judge the size of the moustache — you have to see if the hair is well-groomed, see if it suits the person, see if it makes them look good.” Notice Skibnes uses “they” in lieu of a masculine pronoun. Interesting. Could it be that the games aren’t Just for Men?

CNN also reported: “It was at the Anchorage games that the United States emerged as the ‘premier power in world bearding,’ according to Beard Team USA captain Phil Olsen, who predicts that America will net a staggering eight out of 17 possible gold medals at the games.” Olsen’s prediction fell short by two, but I’m giving him points for using “bearding” as a verb as though it were an Olympic sport. 

By the way, Team USA will hold its next national competition this fall in the Amish country of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Be there or be without hair.

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Filed under All Things Wordish, News, Sports and Recreation

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