Norwegian triathlete receives new ‘lucky cap’ in Taiwan

Iden expresses happiness about meeting so many 'passionate' people in Changhua

Norwegian triathlete Gustav Iden (center) visits the Puyan Shunze Temple on Oct. 9. (CNA photo)

Norwegian triathlete Gustav Iden (center) visits the Puyan Shunze Temple on Oct. 9. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Norwegian triathlete Gustav Iden, who sparked a "lucky cap" fad in Taiwan, said during a press conference in Changhua County on Monday (Nov. 11) that he was happy to have received a new cap of the kind he wore when he won a triathlon in September.

Iden became famous in Taiwan after sharp-eyed Taiwanese noticed that the hat he wore while sprinting towards the finish line at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France, bore the name of the legendary "Buyan Shunze Temple" (埔鹽順澤宮). Since then, the temple has been overwhelmed by thousands of orders for the "lucky cap," which it has been handing out free of charge.

In the past few days, Iden has been participating in events in Changhua at the county government's invitation. In addition to visiting the Buyan Shunze Temple and praying to the gods to grant him luck to win in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, he participated in the Tianzhong Marathon on Sunday, running a distance of 3.5 kilometers along with other contestants. He then showed up Monday to a press conference at the Changhua County Government to promote the county’s mutton and milk festival, according to media reports.

The Norwegian said he was happy to see so many passionate people in Changhua, adding that he had eaten a lot of delicious snacks and might have gained weight. He joked that he would have to step up training after he returns to Norway to keep in shape.

Iden's agent said the runner lost the lucky cap right after he won the triathlon event when he put it aside to receive his trophy, CNA reported. As such, Iden was very happy to be able to come to Taiwan to receive a new one, as he truly believes it gave him good luck, the agent added.

Iden is scheduled to wrap up his Changhua visit on Monday and will catch his flight home on Tuesday (Nov. 12).