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Willi Chevalier is a dance teacher from Sigmaringen in Germany and is best known for his unusual beard but I bet you’ve only ever seen photos of the man and haven’t heard his story.

Chevalier has won several competitions for his beard — including being named Bartmeister of his home town in 1995, which is German for ‘beard master’, it was shortly after this that he joined a beard enthusiast club.

Just a year later, Willi finished third place in the German Championship and his appetite was well and truly whetted. He went on to compete in Schomberg, Berlin, England and Steinau-Grundau before travelling to Texas in 2010 to compete in the world’s biggest competition — which he won.

His honours include: International German Beard Master, European Champion, Super European Champion, winner of the Beard Festival, winner of the Beard Trophy and World Champion.

With all those honours, I’d bet he doesn’t have to worry about having a beard in the workplace!

Chevalier and two other contestants from the 2010 Beard and Moustache Championships

Naturally, those involved in television became interested in Willi’s beard and the ARD and ZDF have both done pieces on the bearded German and he’s since been on several comedy and talk shows.

Why did he grow it? Well, Chevalier used to smoke and, in the 80s, he was in need of a replacement — he decided that this should be to grow a beard and make it as outlandish as possible.

He also confirmed, in an interview published on his website, that he has only ever had positive experiences since growing the beard and that he feels like he’s Santa Claus, saying kids often tug at his beard.

Ten years ago, only two weeks away from a beard championship in America, Willi had an accident where he lost his beard. It took two years for him to regrow his facial hair but, once it was back, he won the most prestigious award — the World Championship.

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