It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were all waiting in anticipation for the start of the London 2012 Olympics. Do you remember watching the opening ceremony? The spectacular display of British heritage co-ordinated by Oscar-winning director, Danny Boyle was something to behold.


Now that preparations are underway for the 2016 Olympics in Rio and athletes’ training moves up a gear, we’re reflecting on the origin of FRIO UK and its strong link to the Olympic games.


From the 1991 World Powerlifting Championships to the 1996 Atlanta Olympic games, FRIO has long been associated with major sporting events. Here’s how it all started…


FRIO’s cooling technology was the brainchild of Garnet and Althea Wolsey, who first developed cooling head, neck, ankle and wrist bands in 1991 for their daughter Helen Wolsey.


Helen was a professional powerlifter competing in the World Powerlifting Championships in the searing 110 degree heat in New Delhi, India, and needed a way to keep her temperature down during warm-up sessions. Garnet and Althea then created the cooling bands using evaporative crystal technology and Helen went on to become world champion.


The cooling bands were soon spotted by other sports teams and were used by the British Olympic and Paralympic teams when they wore them during training at the Atlanta Olympic games in the Summer of 1996.


As the Atlanta games took place in the height of summer, the average temperature was around 32°C, so the cooling bands allowed athletes to keep cool during training, a vital part of maintaining high performance levels.


World class athletes such as type 2 diabetic Steven Redgrave, Matthew Pinsent, Ben Ainslie, Denise Lewis and Jamie Baulch competed in the ’96 Olympics and brought home one gold, eight silver and six bronze medals.


Tanni Grey-Thompson, Mike Kenny, Dave Roberts and Sarah Storey were multi medal winners for the British Paralympic team that went on to win a staggering 39 gold, 42 silver and 41 bronze medals.


Steven Redgrave And Matthew Pinsent After Winning Olympic Gold In Rowing In 1996

Steven Redgrave & Matthew Pinsent after winning gold in rowing in 1996

Tanni Grey -Thompson Who Won Olympic Gold In Wheelchair Racing In 1996


Tanni Grey-thompson who won gold in wheelchair racing in 1996


This September will see the Olympic games head to Rio in Brazil where the average temperature is expected to be around 22°C. Average temperatures during the last Olympic games in London were around 19°C and it was estimated that about 42,000 litres of water were drunk per day by competing athletes.


Keeping hydrated and staying cool is vitally important for professional athletes to ensure they do not suffer dehydration and their body temperature does not rise too high.


FRIO cooling bands are easily activated with water and stay cool for up to 45 hours. They are designed to reduce body temperature during sporting activities and can also be used to cool down specific muscles post-training. They come as neck, head, ankle and wrist bands and can be easily adjusted to fit all.


Since its inception, FRIO’s innovative cooling technology has since been expanded to include migraine soothers, drinks coolers and insulin cooling wallets which can also be used to keep other temperature sensitive medications cool.


So, why not follow in the footsteps of our great Olympians and keep your cool with FRIO cooling bands, the choice of champions!


See all of our cooling products here.