June 6, 2005Hometown favorite and defending world champ Hans Gassner beat the competition (by several whiskers) to win the freestyle full beard category at the recent Beard Olympics in Leogang, Austria.
A hundred and fifty-seven contestants competed in the May 21 event. The hirsute vied for top billing in 16 official categories: mustache (6 categories), partial beard/goatee (5), and full beard (5).
Lake Tahoe, California, lawyer Phil Olsen, an also-ran in the freestyle full beard category, was the only U.S. competitor. He said the event served as a warm-up for the October 2005 World Beard and Moustache Championships in Berlin. "Team USA is
actively recruiting those willing to support their country either as competitors or spectators," he added.
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