From the start of the opening ceremony, the Olympics highlight 16 days of the world’s premier athletes competing in exhilarating feats. Held this year in Tokyo, the global event also showcases many products derived from propane and other natural gas liquids (NGLs).

It begins with the raising of the host country’s flag — along with all the flags of the nations represented — during the opening ceremony. The flag material is made using NGL byproducts, as are many of the uniforms, outfits and accessories worn by athletes in the Parade of Nations and by performers in the artistic show.

Throughout the Games themselves, athletes will be relying on uniforms made with performance fabrics like polyester, nylon and spandex, all of which are made using NGL byproducts. That includes everything from swimsuits and cycling bibs to soccer jerseys and track shorts. To top it off, there are all sorts of athletic shoes made possible by propane. 

Aside from wardrobe, propane is often used for the production of plastics and rubber, which are needed for sports equipment. Bike tires, helmets, volleyballs and swimming goggles are just a few of the items made from NGL byproducts.

The health and safety of the Games is the highest priority, and many of the athletes are fully vaccinated, made possible by NGLs. You can also bet that there will be plenty of NGL-derived disinfecting products used to clean the Olympic facilities and to keep these world-class athletes safe. That’s in addition to hand sanitizers, commonly made with the active ingredient isopropanol — rubbing alcohol — and disposable masks. 

So, as you’re watching the Olympics this summer, take note of how propane and other natural gas liquids help make the Games possible.