Newly crowned Olympic champion Ayumu Hirano showed he cares about his Japanese roots, tradition and culture through his decision to wear a tenugui handkerchief around his neck while soaring to gold in the men's snowboard halfpipe final at the Beijing Games.

As the 23-year-old gold medalist received global media coverage, his eagle-eyed domestic fans spotted the white cotton cloth he had on in Friday's final and hailed his patriotic spirit, triggering an online shopping frenzy that resulted in the item quickly selling out.

The tenugui he wore, emblazoned with kanji characters spelling out "ukiyo" (transient world), is designed by Ryo Aizawa, a fellow pro snowboarder-cum-entrepreneur who found his tenugui products suddenly becoming one of the buzziest topics in Olympic fashion.