Captured

The trippy helmets of the Sochi skeleton races

One part protection, one part fashion accessory, one part pure intimidation

When you're hurling yourself head-first down a narrow, winding, ice-covered track, reaching speeds of up to 90 miles an hour, your helmet is surely your most coveted piece of equipment.

But for some of this year's skeleton Olympians, that sculpted bit of head padding has also become a rather intriguing fashion accessory. Whether painted to intimidate, confound, or make you go, "hmm," these racers' helmets are a welcome piece of eye candy during the whip-fast event. Check them out for yourself:

Katie Uhlaender of the U.S. rocks a bold American Eagle on her helmet during a training event on February 8. | (REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch)

 

Canada's John Fairbairn goes electrified-brain-first at the start of a training event on February 12. | (REUTERS/Murad Sezer)

 

Ireland's Sean Greenwood points his rainbow-died horned skeleton head toward the finish line during a training session on February 9. | (MURAD SEZER/Reuters/Corbis)

 

Canada's Sarah Reid shows some national pride with this trippy maple-leaf-covered lady during a training session on February 11. | (REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch)

 

It's like you're staring at a solar eclipse with American John Daly's helmet, worn during the men's skeleton event on February 15. | (REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch)

 

Why, yes, that is the Tasmanian Devil catching a ride on the back of Russia's Olga Potylitsina during the women's skeleton event on February 14. | (REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch)

 

Canada's Eric Neilson takes the gold for the creepiest helmet, which features an eye-bulging skeleton face with the maple leaf insignia tattooed on top. Shiver. | (REUTERS/Murad Sezer)

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