15 Cool Olympic Athlete Tattoos, Because Pro Athletes Have Ink Too

Contrary to popular belief, Olympians are mere humans too and like the rest of us, many of them like to express themselves visually via tattoos. There are some seriously cool Olympic athlete tattoos out there, worn by athletes from across the board.

However, there's been a lot of kerfuffle about what kind of tattoos athletes are allowed to flaunt. Kenza Moller writing for Romper cleared up the rumor that you can be disqualified for getting a tattoo during the Olympics. Turns out, Paralympic swimmer Josef Craig was disqualified from a race due to his tattoo, which features the Olympic rings. Moller explained this seemingly unfair event writing, "Since the Paralympic Games are entirely separate from the Olympic Games and run by separate committees, the International Paralympic Committee categorized his tattoo as an advertisement for another event." She elaborated, "Under Paralympic (and Olympic!) rules, athletes are not allowed to display advertisements on their bodies, so Craig was unfortunately cut from a final. He also had to cover up the offending tattoo at his following Paralympic race."

But, all is not lost! As long as Craig covers up his tattoo, he can compete in future races. This rule applies to all Paralympic or Olympic athletes sporting a tattoo that could be deemed as an "advertisement." Did I mention his tattoo is freaking cool? Although it seems a shame to cover it, rules are rules!

Here are some more awesome tattoos that may make an appearance during the Games if the athletes are competing.

1. Robert Förstemann's Olympic Rings


German track cyclist Robert Förstemann wears a classic Olympic rings tattoo, embellished with a laurel wreath.

2. Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie's Horse

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Bahamian sprint athlete Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie rocks what appears to be a wild horse, running free on her thigh, possibly symbolizing her free spirit.

3. Cathy Freeman's Poignant Words

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Australian former sprinter Cathy Freeman bears the words, "'Cos I'm free" on her right upper arm – a tattoo that involves no guesswork and tells it like it is.

4. Ariane Friedrich's Tiger


German high jumper Ariane Friedrich's tattoo of a tiger shows she's really got her eye on the prize!

5. Jaele Patrick's Starry Rings


Australian diver Jaele Patrick mixes magical stars with the Olympic rings.

6. Mauricio Fiol's Olympic Torch


Peruvian swimmer, Mauricio Fiol looks majestic as he displays his stunning Olympic torch tatt.

7. Martina Strutz's Side Tattoo

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German pole vaulter Martina Strutz boasts a selection of ink, but this cool design points out her killer abs.

8. Damien Hooper's Arm Ink

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Boxer Damien Hooper, who represented Australia at the 2012 Summer Olympics, has multiple tattoos interweaving into a sleeve style design on his arm.

9. Szabolcs Zubai's Floral Design


Hungarian handballer, Szabolcs Zubai, flaunts a gorgeous floral piece, proving that flowers are definitely not just for the ladies.

10. Fernanda Silva Rocha's Star


It seems Olympic handballers like their ink! Brazil's leftwing Fernanda Silva Rocha's tattoo may leave you starry eyed and lusting after a celestial piece yourself.

11. Tsagaanbaatar Khashbaatar


Mongolian judoist Tsagaanbaatar Khashbaatar shows off his tattoo that reads, "Champion" and features two small feet.

12. Jessica Hardy's Dainty Rings


American competition swimmer Jessica Hardy's darling Olympic rings tattoo is just visible in this close up snap of her wearing a swimsuit.

13. Rebekah Wilson's Inspiring Ink

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British bobsleigh brakewoman Rebekah Wilson rocks a script tattoo that we can presume reads, "Sometimes you've got to fall before you fly" although it's tricky to be sure with her top covering part of it. The addition of the birds in flight is an inspiring touch.

14. Phara Anacharsis' Back Tatt

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Athlete Phara Anacharsis of France is a somewhat illustrated lady, but this feminine, flowing back tattoo that wraps around her stomach is my personal fave.

15. Marta Pihan-Kulesza's Butterfly Style Ink

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I'm sure I'm not the only one who loves how Polish gymnast Marta Pihan-Kulesza's tattoo peeks prettily above her leotards.

Some of these athlete's inks reference the Olympics, while we can guess that others hold personal meaning. Be inspired this summer to go for gold in whatever it is you want to achieve and get inked with something that reminds you to be the best version of yourself!