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Adhesive tapes help Olympian Lizzy Yarnold to secure gold

Adhesive tapes help Olympian Lizzy Yarnold to secure gold Lizzy Yarnold triumphed in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, winning gold in the skeleton. This was Britain's second successive skeleton title in the Winter Olympics, after Amy Williams won gold in Vancouver in 2010. Britain's reigning champion Shelley Rudman, who won silver at the 2006 Olympics and gold at the 2013 World Championships in St Moritz, finished 16th. With additional successes in the men's and women's curling events, plus bronze for Jenny Jones in the slopestyle, this is Britain's best medal haul at a Winter Olympics since 1936.

Not that this has come a surprise. Britain's team headed off to Russia with a squad described by team bosses as "our strongest ever". And the team was buoyed by support from co-sponsor tesa. This built on the support from tesa for Amy Williams in her 2010 triumph, where tesa 4651 tape played an important part in the athlete's grip during the vital start sequence and the skeleton's aerodynamic performance.

Quoted on the BBC Sport website, Lizzy Yarnold, from Sevenoaks in Kent, who went into the Olympics off the back of a world cup win in Konigssee, Germany, was clearly in no mood to concede anything to her rivals. She had said: "I don't take part in races to come second, and I can't wait to get back on the Sochi track, go over the lines and maintain my focus." So it was little surprise that she dominated the event from start to finish.

Hair-raising event

The skeleton is one of the most spectacular and hair-raising of all the Winter Sports events, with competitors in a face-up prone position just inches from the surface whilst accelerating under gravity up to speeds of 90mph. Every micro-second saved is crucial with timings down to 1/100th of a second often deciding the medal positions.

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. 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. It also assists in the 'push' start which requires a 20 to 30 metre sprint before the competitor dives aboard. To enhance the aerodynamics further, most of the British athletes apply the tape along the edges of the sled where the bellypan meets the padding.

tesa products prove their impressive quality day in, day out in demanding conditions, and are regularly subjected to strict controls. tesa 4651 is based on a 148 mesh woven fabric backing and a natural rubber adhesive. It offers high adhesion even on rough surfaces and has excellent tensile strength. Comfortable and easy to write on, it is available in eight colours - black, white, grey, yellow, blue, red, green and brown.

Alongside its use on the skeleton, applications include: bundling and reinforcing of heavy pipes, profiles etc; covering of bore holes and other openings; marking of wires and cables; labelling and colour coding; floor marking; airtight and permanent sealing of pipes; securing of sharp edges; fixing and insulating of wires; and sealing of tins and tubes.

Jeremy Smith, Marketing Manager for tesa UK, says that the company has been supporting the skeleton team for seven years, and followed its progress with great anticipation. "Winter Sports medals are a rare occurrence for Britain and we are all thrilled to know that our products have helped them in their quest."
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