Earlier this year, we posted a story about how the societal views on tattoos are changing. Overall, people are becoming more and more accepting of these works of art, and why shouldn’t they? Some tattoo artists are so devoted to their craft that they can use the human body as a literal canvas. When you see the quality and beautiful of these tattoos, you might even consider getting one yourself. As a sign of the times, you might have even noticed some tattooed Olympians competing this year.
Anthony Ervin first competed in the 2000 Summer Olympics, where he earned a gold medal in the 50-meter freestyle race. That same year, he was on a relay team that pulled in the silver, but despite his success he decided to call it quits. In 2012, he came back to the scene with nothing to show for it, but in 2016 he once again pulled out with a gold in the 50-meter free. For someone to leave competitive swimming for so long and then come back and work up, that is quite impressive. As you can see in this photo, he is not afraid to show of his tattoo either.
Wait. What is that? Could it possibly be? Yes, that is indeed what you think it is. Javier Culson is sporting a Sonic the Hedgehog tattoo above those Olympic Rings. Considering that he competes in the 400 meter hurdles, it seems highly appropriate that Culson would choose to get a tattoo of Sonic. Though he has only come home with a bronze medal in the 2012 Olympics, he still has earned his right to wear this clever tattoo. After all, how many athletes do you know that can beat him?
Apparently, Italian swimmer Federica Pellegrini has nine tattoos in total. Perhaps you have noticed this tattoo at the back of her neck while she is competing this year. Of course, its not her only visible one. She also sports a phoenix tattoo on her right ankle. In addition to her multiple tattoos, she also holds a gold medal and the world record for the 200 meter woman’s freestyle.
Following the theme of getting a tattoo in line with his passion, silver medal winner Brady Ellison has a tattoo from the 2012 London Olympics that features an arrow. This creative addition helps him stand out from the other athletes, many of whom also end up getting Olympic rings tattooed on one part of their body or another. In his case, his record outside the Olympics is pretty impressive too. He was ranked #1 in men’s recurve archery from August 2011 until April 2013, which is a record.