Here’s the Reason Why Olympic Athletes Are Wearing Tape On Their Faces

TODAY

If you’ve been watching the winter Olympics, chances are that you’ve noticed a few athletes with tape on their faces. This tape isn’t random painters tape or duct tape in pretty colors. It’s actually called kinesiology tape, kinesio tape or KT tape.

KT tape is often used by athletes to relieve muscle pain and improve blood flow. The flexible tape was created to mimic the natural movement of the skin, yet it supposedly has the power to help injured muscles work properly.

The jury is still out on whether KT tape really works or if it’s just a placebo effect, where someone thinks something works even if it doesn’t have magical powers and that in and of itself produces a favorable outcome. Regardless, you’re probably wondering right now if the winter Olympians all somehow injured their face muscles since that’s where they’re placing the tape.

The answer is no. The athletes who are putting tape on their faces at the Olympics actually have a completely different reason for doing this that is not related to muscle pain. Watch the video below to find out why they are really using the KT tape.

KT tape was not designed to be used on the face, but many athletes, particularly downhill skiers, are using the tape to prevent frostbite and windburn. There isn’t any proof that the tape is effective at helping prevent either of these things, but nonetheless, athletes are trying everything they can think of to try to combat the extremely cold temperatures and perform at their best.

Greg Venner is the President and CEO of KT Tape. Venner 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.”

Venner made it clear that KT Tape was not designed for the purpose of keeping athletes warm. While he isn’t sure that it’s the best idea to use the tape this way, he said, “We certainly applaud the creativity – we are proud to support Team USA!”

Venner did offer a word of caution that the tape might be hard to remove. He 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.”

Have you ever used KT Tape? Do you think it’s really effective or a placebo effect?