The masks worn by Americans on the Olympic podium might haunt your dreams.


By Randal C. Archibold

TOKYO — American athletes may terrify competitors on their way to winning Olympic medals.

And they may be terrifying, or at least mystifying, them on the medal podium with their big, protruding, white pleated masks specially designed for the occasion.

Social media wags have likened them to something the villain Bane in the Batman movies might wear, or Hannibal Lecter.

The masks were designed and provided by Nike, although its logo is not on them (“USA” is). They were meant to invoke origami in the spirit of the Tokyo Games.

The unique origami-inspired pleated design allows for optimal air flow and air volume within the lightweight, mesh mask,” a company statement said.

Although thickly woven, they are not N95s, the kind of masks that filter airborne particles at high efficiency, the statement said.

Called the Nike Venturer, the mask is labeled as “coming soon” on Nike’s website and retails for $60.

Supply your own medal.

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