Why Team USA’s Olympics face masks make them look like Batman villains

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The US Olympic team is standing out at the in more ways than one. Viewers have noticed Team wears a very distinct face mask on the medal podium — where they’ve been quite a bit already. 

Their white masks look kind of like individual face accordions, featuring a pleated front and a jutting profile, with the letters “USA” in red on one side. The masks have led social-media users to compare the team members to everyone from villain Bane to fictional cannibal Hannibal Lector.

Team USA getting ready to fight Batman. 🦇

— jack teja (@jackteja)

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Team USA’s masks are made by , and the specific style is called the . While Team USA is wearing white masks, Nike is advertising black masks on its website. At $60, they’re not cheap, and they’re not yet available for purchase. A representative for Nike told CNET, “the mask will soon be available for consumers” but didn’t offer an exact date.

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“The world is your stadium, but urban landscapes can bring grime to your game,” the online description reads. “Strap on Nike’s first performance mask of its kind made for optimal breathability. Designed for sport, built in nose cushion and chin insert helps it stay in place when you’re going hard.”

“The unique origami-inspired pleated design allows for optimal air flow and air volume within the lightweight, mesh mask,” Nike said in its statement. Origami, the art of paper folding, has a long history in Japan, which hosts this year’s Olympics.

Bane, is that you?

Some social-media users felt the masks made wearers look like Bane, the creepy Batman villain, memorably played by Tom Hardy in 2012’s .

“You too can look like Bane on the medal stand of life with the Nike Venturer facemask for the low, low price of $60,” wrote one Twitter user.

Said another, “Team USA masks for the podium look like the medalists are about to close off Gotham’s bridges and become allies with darkness.”

You too can look

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Team USA masks for the podium look like the medalists are about to close off Gotham’s bridges and become allies with darkness

— Nick Quaranto 💉😷🤜🦠 (@qrush)

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USA used the Bane mask from Batman as their inspiration for their Olympics mask

— Matt (@Len_Jet)

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I would like a Bane-esque mask for my upcoming air travel thank you

— Scott Braun (@scott1120)

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team masks at a little familiar

— gurmit singh (@gurms)

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Dog muzzle? Hannibal Lecter?

Olympics watchers found plenty of other things to which they could compare the Team USA face mask, from dog muzzles to space shuttles to creepy cannibal Hannibal Lecter.

One person thought they kind of looked like dog muzzles.

“Who ever designed USA face mask is a really big dog lover and it shows,” wrote one Twitter user.

Who ever designed USA face mask is a really big dog lover and it shows

— DiamondTip (@Jamezyp)

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Team USA wearing either a Bane mask or part of a space shuttle? 2021 is weird

— Kate McNamara (@kaydo)

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What’s with the Hannibal Lecter inspired face masks?

— Billy Jack (@BillyJa82485665)

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Is Team USA swimming team’s mask inspired by Stars Wars?

— Eisya Sofia Azman 💉💉 (@eisya_azman)

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That Team USA face mask though 😂

— _toinfinityandbeyond (@SHeart1207)

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Strong Shredder vibes.

— Quintessence 🥑/ (@QuintessenceAnx)

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Team USA: Hey, Nike can you design a mask for our athletes to wear on the Olympic podium?

Nike: Best we can do is a feed bag.

— Justin J Carter (@JustinJCarter)

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Love it! Hate it!

Whatever the mask looked like, opinions were mixed. 

“Whoever designed the mask for the US athletes really did them dirty,” wrote one Twitter user.

Whoever designed the mask for the US athletes really did them dirty

— Luka (@Luka_Ritter)

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Can we just talk about how RIDICULOUS the Team USA medal ceremony masks look???

— Alice ✨ (@TheGladTrad)

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Yet some wanted to buy their own, with one person writing, “That mask looks like it could be really comfortable. Honestly, I want to know more.”

That mask looks like it could be really comfortable. Honestly, I want to know more

— Steve Bussey (@YOOOODAAAA)

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What are these absolute BEAST MODE branded masks that they’re wearing on the medal podium?

— Alan Haburchak ☕️ (@ahaburchak)

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I like them, been trying to find them or who makes them, it’s like a supersized event-safe mask 😷 lol

— aaguess1987 (@aaguess1987)

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You’ll be seeing more of the outsized masks — the Tokyo Olympics run through Aug. 8.

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