The United States Olympic Team will enter the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium wearing patriotic attire designed by Ralph Lauren. Some of the pieces designed exclusively for the Olympics include synthetic fabrics, like nylon, elastane and polyester. In addition, many competitors will wear uniforms made out of spandex and other flexible synthetic materials to ensure peak performance. These various synthetic textiles are made from derivatives of oil and natural gas.

Safety is paramount for athletes competing in numerous contests. To stay safe, they will wear protective gear like helmets, kneepads and wrist guards made from plastics and other synthetic materials—not to mention the tools of their trades. Skis, snowboards, bobsleighs and skates all include synthetic fibers in their construction. So, when your favorite athlete steps onto the podium to accept their hard-earned medal, know that their success is, in part, due to their strong, innovative, well-made equipment and apparel.

To help cheer on Team USA and all of the impressive athletes, check out the full competition schedule here.