Where to buy Olympics face masks? Ways to show support for US and UK teams

Bruno Cooke July 27, 2021
Where to buy Olympics face masks? Ways to show support for US and UK teams
Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

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With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics well into its first week – the first Olympics in the era of covid-19 – talk among audiences in the USA and UK of where to buy Olympic face masks has taken over the internet. Team USA’s large white Olympic face masks, provided by Nike, seem to be of particular interest.

Olympic face masks in the era of covid-19

There are lots of ways to express appreciation for your national team, or support an individual competitor. 

In the current era, one of the more obvious, and accessible, ways is to wear a face mask bearing that team’s insignia, colours, logo or flag.

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Manufacturers and distributors are encouraging supporters to “cover up in style” with Team USA and Team GB face masks, among other items of merchandise.

USA and UK: Where to buy Olympic face masks

The Team USA official shop has 10-packs of disposable face masks for sale, currently at a reduced price. 

However, while the relative efficacy of disposable masks versus reusable ones is up for debate, the environmental impact of single-use items is not.

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Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: The Official Video Game – Olympics Celebration Trailer

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UK supporters, meanwhile, can purchase Team GB mask sets from sports merchandise retailer FOCO.

Games merchandise – including face masks – is also available in various forms from general retail sites such as Redbubble and Fanatics.

Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

It is important to point out, however, that while outlets may encourage consumers to “show [their] Olympic pride with clothing, shoes” etc., it is possible – and more environmentally friendly – to do so without buying anything.

Face masks that have a year on them, or the name of a particular event, have obsolescence built in. Mass consumerism presents a momentous challenge to our shared global ecosystem. So if possible, support your team in a way that is environmentally conscious.

Why is everyone talking about Nike’s Olympic masks?

It is compulsory for Olympic athletes across all disciplines and in all venues to wear face masks. IOC spokesperson Mark Adams said “It’s not a nice to have – it’s a must to have.”

They are, however, allowed to remove their masks during their “podium moment”.

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Photo by Delly Carr/Getty Images

The large, white, patterned designs of Team USA’s swimming team’s masks, provided by Nike, seem to be of particular interest to the public. Comparisons vary from Tom Hardy’s Bane and Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter to a single Kanye West’s Yeezy sneaker.

Several outlets, meanwhile, have revelled in the comparisons, Yahoo Entertainment and Today both writing that the masks were getting “gold medals” in “freaking people out”.

Those wanting to know where to buy Team USA’s large white Nike face masks face disappointment, however. They do not appear to be available for purchase.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.