From top left: Misty May Treanor's lower back, Ryan Lochte's right arm, Ryan Lochte's upper back, Michael Phelps' right hip, Dana Vollmer's lower back. Photos above courtesy of Getty Images.
Love it or hate it, you have to admit that tattoos are part of our culture. Countless celebrities have tats, as do athletes. We're getting to see the ink of our favorite Olympic athletes up-close and personal during the 2012 Olympic Games, thanks to their skimpy outfits.
Volleyball champ Misty May-Treanor has a prominent tattoo of the Roman number five on her lower back — and fans wanted to know what it means after seeing it during competition. It's actually a homage to her Jersey number — five — from her days playing at Cal State Long Beach.
She doesn't mind showing off her tat in a skimpy outfit. In fact, she prefers it that way.
"What you see is what you get — there’s no airbrushing," she said earlier this year. "I grew up on the beach, grew up in a bikini.”
Four-time gold medalist Missy Franklin doesn't have a tattoo, yet — but she will once she returns home from the Olympics.
"After London, I'll get my one and only tattoo, the Olympic rings," she told US Weekly last week.
"I've seen them on all the other athletes, and it's so cool," she added to Reuters. "I've used it as my motivation, because it's the only tattoo I'm going to get."
Franklin is only 17, so she'll need her parent's permission to get that ink. Are they down with the permanent artwork? "My parents are fine with it," she said. "They're just as excited as I am."
Maybe Franklin got the idea from some of her Team U.S.A. cohorts: Both Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps have Olympic rings as their ink of choice. They're hardly the only ones with the tattoo, though: Quite a few Olympic athletes rock the look somewhere on their bodies: Swimmer Dana Vollmer has one on her lower back, while archery champ Khatuna Lorig has one on her right forearm.
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