River Radamus' zebra-inspired, lucky hairdo

The three-time Youth Olympic champion hopes he's found his lucky charm ahead of Beijing 2022

By Scott Bregman
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

When it comes to the Olympic Winter Games, there’s no such thing as too much luck.

Enter American alpine skier River Radamus and his lucky hairstyle. The 23-year-old comes to the Beijing 2022 Games donning a zebra ‘do, which he hopes will help lift him to the Olympic podium.

“I like to change up my hair as a reminder not to take myself too seriously. At the end of the day, 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 told Olympics.com in an email. "This one was decided on by my Instagram followers. I put out a call to them, and zebra print was the overwhelming favorite. I wanted to do it so those who support me have a part in my experience at the Games."

Radamus is no stranger to eye-catching hairdos, having sported a snow leopard-inspired look at the opening World Cup of the season in Soelden, Austria, and a mullet bowl a year prior.

“The last three years I’ve done a special haircut for Soelden – I did a mullet bowl cut last year, and the year before I did it all blue and green…so I just like to do this little tradition of mine to change it up and get a new look going for the season,” Radamus said, according to an Instagram post from the U.S. Ski Team. “This year, it’s inspired by past U.S. Ski Team speed legend Chad Fleischer, who used to have hair like this – the snow leopard – I wanted to carry that tradition forward, and carry that, sort of like, free spirit American-style forward.”

Radamus’ free spirt has served him well in the past. At the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, he captured three gold medals. Taking the titles Super-G, giant slalom and the combined. He owns the 2019 Junior Alpine Ski World Championships titles in Super-G and giant slalom.

He enters Beijing having competed in five World Cup events, recording his best finishes in the giant slalom where he took sixth twice (at Alta Badia and Soelden).

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