tesa is the official Olympic sponsor for the US Skeleton and Bobsled Team for the 11th year in a row. tesa tape is crucial to the team to use on both their sleds and uniforms. While the athletes hurdle around the track at speeds topping 80 mph, they rely on the science of both aerodynamics and adhesion.
tesa, a subsidiary of Biersdorf (maker of NIVEA, Eucerin, and Coppertone products) out of Germany, holds the original patent for tape.
Adhesive tape is an essential part of a bobsled and skeleton athlete’s sled and gear. Because they train and compete in harsh winter environments, these elite athletes require an adhesive solution that performs at extreme temperatures. “tesatape is an integral part of our sleds,” says three-time Olympian John Daly. “It holds the sled padding in place and helps optimize aerodynamic flow. We also use it on our helmets – and any open areas – to cut down on aerodynamic drag, which can help us gain valuable hundredths of a second – and get onto the podium. The adhesive power is second to none.”
A thin foam mat on the metal frame of the sled is the only thing that provides the athletes with a limited amount of comfort while racing down the frozen track. “The foam mat has to be connected to the sled as tightly as possible,” USA Skeleton Head Coach Tuffy Latour says. “That’s where tesa tape comes into play. And, in addition to attaching the foam mat to their sleds, the tape provides the athletes with an added advantage: it protects them against sharp edges.” Each athlete is using up to six rolls of tesa tape per year on each of his or her sleds, and many of them have two or three sleds as part of their standard equipment.
Latour also says that “tesa has been the only tape to really stand up to the abuse in all types of weather conditions. To say that tesa tape holds our team together would be an understatement. It’s the ultimate all-purpose adhesive tape in bobsled and skeleton toolboxes.”