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BEIJING — Before heading to the Olympics, athletes may get a haircut or their highlights retouched to look their best as they compete in front of the entire world.
U.S. alpine skier River Radamus took it all a step further before competing in the Beijing Winter Olympics in alpine skiing events, including Tuesday’s super-G race.
The 23-year-old cut and dyed his hair into the pattern of a zebra — a decision he let up to his Instagram followers, according to Olympics.com.
“I wanted to do it so those who support me have a part in my experience at the Games,” he said.
It’s also a reminder not to take himself too seriously.
“I get to play a game for a living so I want to make sure to enjoy it and not let the pressure or expectations take away my love for it,” he said.
It’s not the first time Radamus underwent a transformation ahead of a major competition.
Prior to the Soelden Alpine Ski World Cup, Radamus dyed his hair into a snow leopard pattern — a look inspired by former U.S. Olympic downhill skier Chad Fleischer, Radamus told the U.S. Ski Team.
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“I wanted to carry that tradition forward, and carry that, sort of like, free spirit American-style forward,” he said.
Before taking on the animal-inspired looks, in prior competitions he rocked a self-described “mullet bowl” and dyed his hair blue and green.
The 2022 Winter Games is Radamus’ first time competing at the Olympic level. He is a three-time Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games champion.