With a little help from tesa tapes, the British Skeleton team are on the right path ahead of next year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The GB team have picked up plenty of medals in 2016/17, with Lizzy Yarnold’s bronze at February’s World Championships preceded by World Cup, Intercontinental Cup, European Cup and North American Cup success spread across the 16-strong squad.
And, with the sport’s showpiece event in South Korea now less than a year away, things are looking good as they aim to build on a proud history that has seen them win medals at each of the last four Olympics since 2002.
tesa, a global market leader in the manufacturer and supply of adhesive tapes, provides its tesa® 4651 tape for many parts of the sleds used by the British Skeleton team.
Athletes competing in the skeleton reach speeds of up to 140 km/h and experience G-forces up to 5G whilst lying face down on what appears to many to be little more than a high-tech tea tray. The premium acrylic coated cloth tape offers high adhesion and excellent tensile strength and is used on the handles of the special grade mild steel saddle, providing a reliable grip on various surfaces ranging from powder coated polymer, zinc or spray paint finishes.
The tape is also used to fasten different types of foam padding on the top of the saddle where the athlete lies. On the bellypan, typically made from carbon fibre sheet or GRP and finished in gel-coat, lacquer or paint, it is used to optimise air flow and speed in general, by covering the holes where the runner fits. tesa® 4651 tape also plays an important part in assisting the slider’s grip during the critical seconds at the start where initial momentum is built before the competitor gets on to the skeleton.
Danny Holdcroft, GB Skeleton’s head of performance, said “It’s been a solid season for the squad and we are in a good place ahead of the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang. Medals are won and lost in our sport by the tiniest of margins and we are grateful for the support tesa has given in providing the tape. tesa plays an important role in giving our athletes the best possible platform to perform and we look forward to seeing our partnership continue to flourish at what is a very exciting time for our team.”
Jeremy Smith, marketing manager for tesa in the UK, says the company has been supporting the British team with product and advice for over a decade. “In this event, where medals are decided by fractions of a second, the assistance that our tape provides at the start and in the aerodynamics of the skeleton makes a real contribution to performance.”
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