Olympic skiers are using tape to protect their faces from the cold. Does it actually work?
Michelle Shen, USA TODAY
·1 min read
Athletes in Beijing are using KT Tape to protect their faces from the freezing cold temperatures, but the CEO of KT Tape Greg Venner warns that the tape isn't clinically tested for faces.
The KT Tape that athletes are putting on their faces is normally used as an elastic sports tape to provide support for muscles, ligaments and tendons to allow for full range of motion. The tape is sponsored and used by several athletes in the Beijing Winter Olympics as well as the summer Olympics season.
There's no precedent for using the tape on faces or evidence that it protects people from the cold, and Venner says that athletes should be careful about using the tape on the delicate skin on their face.
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“We’ve seen KT Tape used as protection against the wind in winter sports over the years, so although it isn’t a clinically approved usage, we appreciate the ingenuity. KT Tape doesn’t endorse the use of kinesiology tape on the face as it isn’t clinically tested," Venner told USA TODAY. "However, we certainly applaud the creativity – we are proud to support Team USA!”
Athletes have been seen with the tape over their noses and cheeks above their masked faces, mostly during the cross country ski and biathlon events where they are competing out in the cold for extended periods of time.
Anti-freeze face tape does exist and can be used to protect the nose and cheeks of winter athletes to help them avoid frostbite.