What's behind snowboardcross champ's faux mustache?
FEB 16, 2014 3:54p ET
Eva Samkova, a 20-year-old snowboardcross athlete from the Czech Republic, dominated her event Sunday to secure a gold medal around her neck -- but it was the curiosity above her lip that may have drawn the most interest from viewers.
Samkova has been painting on pre-event fake mustaches for years, ever since the Snowboarding World Championships in 2011, and she didn't deviate from the whimsical custom in Sochi. Her paint scheme Sunday was patriotic, bearing the colors of the Czech flag.
Samkova said she wore it for "luck," and considering the fact that her victory was the first podium finish in Sochi by a Czech snowboarder, it's clear that the faux 'stache was the right move.
A live helmet camera captured Samkova's gold-medal-winning run, made possible by her impeccable form and very fast board. Somehow, she was able to avoid the fate of several other competitors who crashed out in the event The Associated Press describes as "snowboarding's version of NASCAR."
"It's just physics, that's all," she said.
After her big win, Samkova celebrated with abandon by cheering, screaming and throwing her snowboard.
"It was crazy," she said. "It was first time I was happy like this in the finish."
Dominique Maltais of Canada finished a distant second, and Chloe Trespeuch of France took home the bronze.