The Top 5 Tattoos of the US Olympic Team

Photo Courtesy: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports


Editorial Coverage Sponsored By FINIS

By Jake Renie, Swimming World College Intern

You may have learned several facts about each U.S. Olympic athlete by now, but maybe you don’t know exactly how to recognize them. One of the most prominent identifiers on some of these Olympic swimmers are their tattoos.

Drum roll as we prepare to unfurl the five best tattoos on Team USA’s Olympic swim team…

*Please note that though the back stories are a huge part of tattoos (and since I’m not best friends with any Olympic athletes), these will be my opinions based on appearance. Also, sorry if any tattoos were missed out on! Many people like to keep their tattoos out of sight. Special thanks to my teammate Patrick Kays for judging the top five with me.

5. The Olympic Rings


Olympian Cammile Adams sports the rings on her right hip. Photo Courtesy: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports

There are many athletes with the classic Olympic rings tattoo. What else to better document your trip to the Olympics than the five intertwined circles that everyone knows the significance of? Since many athletes on the roster have been to the Olympics multiple times, many multiple tattoos referencing each Olympics! The simplicity and popularity of the iconic rings give this a number five ranking.

4. David Plummer’s Eagles


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

In many photos, you may see Plummer’s opposing eagles on each shoulder. You may have noticed the eagles look the same…but different. On both shoulders, they contrast colors in the head and body. The artistic simplicity of Plummer’s tattoos earns him extra style points.

3. The Ervin Sleeves


Photo Courtesy: Rob Hardie

Ervin’s sleeves are each epic creations. Every different design could tell its own story, or one massive adventure! Tattoos hurt, but get easier to tolerate after each one. It makes you wonder if Ervin even felt the needle as the artist completed these sleeves.

2. Ryan Lochte’s Gator

Photo Courtesy: Azaria Basile

Photo Courtesy: Azaria Basile

As someone who has pride in their own school, I find Lochte’s gator most intriguing. I think it’s safe to assume that the gator represents his alma mater, the University of Florida. When many think of UF, they picture the cartoonish, vibrant gator head. But Lochte’s detailed original gator design earns him bonus points for originality.

1. Caeleb Dressel’s Patriotic Upper Arm


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

You have to admit, Dressel’s upper arm tattoo is crazy awesome. As a swimmer, if I ever had to race him, I’d be seriously intimated by the display on his arm. The eagle spreading onto the chest adds a sweet effect, and it beautifully complements the American flag underneath it! There’s no mistaking what country this sprint ace hails from. Dressel’s tat is number one in our book.

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7 years ago

Would be pretty cool to show how some of the swimmers’ rings are different, too. I’m pretty sure Lochte has a different kind of design, among others.

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