How is Foam Used in the World's Greatest Sports Competition?
If you're yet to be a competitor in the fabulous celebration of sports known as the Olympic Games, then you may not be aware of what part foam plays in making the competition a reality. Foam's performance does far more than you may have considered before, and without it, many of the feats and achievements of the athletes may not even be possible.
This post will discover what foam does to support competitors and organisers to put on this fabulous spectacle of sports performances.
The Olympics Games in 2021
The Olympic Games that we should have had in 2020 were postponed until this year, 2021.
This year's Olympics hosts Tokyo, Japan, who are now in the full throes of preparation and undertaking of the event as you read this post.
Unfortunately, just with so many other occasions, the Olympics is negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Spectators won't be attending, and in some cases, the participants won't be able to participate either. For example, one of the GB Team's Gold hopefuls in the shooting events has just announced that she won't be travelling to Japan as she has just tested positive for the Covid-19 Coronavirus.
However, despite this being the sad outcome of the planet's population battle for the last 18 months, there are still many fascinating things about the Olympics, even when it comes to foam!
Foam in Olympic Gymnastic Events
One of the biggest and most anticipated events of the competition are the competitions in the gymnastic events. It takes a long time for the gymnasts to prepare for these – often more than five years of daily practice and training. Foam plays a big part in the preparation and taking part in any of these events. For example, it can protect gravitational pull. As a very forgiving, compressible and soft material - foam can make all the difference between being hurt or not.
Foam pits and foam crash mats can protect a falling gymnast from hitting the floor with force. Often the manoeuvres that gymnasts make can be high-flying and, in some cases, downright dangerous. If polyurethane foam wasn't there to provide cushioning, there could be some serious accidents and injuries. Trampolining requires plenty of protection from foam matting to keep their participants safe.
Foam in Olympic Games Athletics Events and other Events
Crash pads for the high jump, exercise mats, shoe insoles, and many more tools and techniques help with training and participating in athletics events. Sports shoes need to be lightweight but resilient and comfortable, and foam can make that happen.
The martial arts events use wrestling mats, agility mats, judo mats and more. Often these are made of reconstituted polyurethane foam as it's a great density for sports of this type. Climbing also uses foam padding as a safety feature to protect if any climbers fall.
Foam in the Winter Olympic Games
It's not just the athletes of the summer Olympics that benefit from the use of foam. Snowboarders use foam pits to practice their moves too. They need to learn how to throw themselves off high ramps and jumps and land safely. This wouldn't be possible without soft foam providing them with the protection they need to stay free of injuries.
Foam in Sports
Foam is a material that machines and users can easily mould. Foam can be made into the foam required for foam pits, crash mats and use in many other ways. For example, foam is used in packaging, orthopaedic devices, medical packing, and many other sporting purposes.
Even if you took part in sport but weren't at the level of an Olympic athlete, you will have used foam in some sporting manner in your life. For example, with gymnastic mats as a child or for some, it will be sports protective gear. You may also have used a foam roller to 'roll out' your tension in yoga or physiotherapy.
In rugby, the players will train with tackle bags, so they learn how to handle a heavy-weight coming at them to 'steal' their ball.
The Progress of Foam in Sports
Modern foam has changed dramatically over the years and can now be engineered to suit the purpose. Years ago, the foam products used for sports would have been more of standard foam. These days we can modify foam in terms of coating, cushioning and cutting to size & shape. If you need a specific foam for your sports or anything else, get in touch. Our team is amiable but, more importantly, clued up on the manufacturing and use of foam in the Olympic Games, sports and beyond.
Feel free to contact us to discuss any of your requirements.