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Why Are Olympic Athletes Wearing Tape On Their Face? They Have A Reason, But The Manufacturer Has Thoughts

The 2022 Winter Olympics have officially begun, and athletes from all over the world (including a record number of LGBTQ+ contestants) have gathered in Beijing to compete for a coveted gold medal. If you’ve been keeping up with the games, you may have noticed that some of the athletes are wearing… tape on their faces? As crazy as it seems, they actually have a valid reason, although the tape company’s CEO isn’t so sure. 

Winter Olympics athletes like Maja Dahlqvist, Jonna Sundling, and Jesper Nelin have been spotted hitting the slopes with pieces of multi-colored KT Tape (opens in new tab) across their noses and cheeks to shield their skin from harsh temperatures. Effective? Perhaps, but the CEO of KT Tape, Greg Venner, doesn’t love the idea. He told Today

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.

The contestants are using this unorthodox method to protect their skin from the freezing winds, but KT tape isn’t really meant to be used on the facial area. The product was initially designed to provide support for weak or injured muscles and joints, in a manner similar to an elastic wrap or compression sleeve. Athletes like Tom Brady have been photographed using KT tape on injured areas, but never on their faces. 

If so many Olympic athletes are using KT tape on their face, why doesn’t the CEO approve of their usage? Greg Venner explained: 

KT Tape doesn’t endorse the use of kinesiology tape on the face as it isn’t clinically tested, and the adhesive that works so well to keep tape in place to provide long-lasting muscle and joint support can be a bit more difficult to remove from the delicate skin on the face. However, we certainly applaud the creativity – we are proud to support Team USA!

KT Tape doesn’t endorse the use of kinesiology tape on the face as it isn’t clinically tested, and the adhesive that works so well to keep tape in place to provide long-lasting muscle and joint support can be a bit more difficult to remove from the delicate skin on the face. However, we certainly applaud the creativity – we are proud to support Team USA!

As any skincare enthusiast can tell you, body products are rarely meant for the face. Body wash, hand soap, and body lotion are often too heavy or abrasive for facial skin, which tends to be more fragile and susceptible to damage. The adhesive on KT tape is probably really hard to remove, and athletes could be in for an unwanted waxing session trying to get it off of their cheeks. While Greg Venner can’t officially endorse this particular use of KT tape in events like the Biathlon and more, he’s more than happy to root for his home country in the Winter games - just don’t try it at home. 

The 2022 Winter Olympics are currently airing on NBC. If you’re a die-hard fan of This Is Us or Chicago Fire, here’s what to expect from the scheduling shake-up. Already ditched your cable in favor of a subscription service? Find out how you can watch the event on streaming, including via your Peacock Premium subscription

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