Seven Olympians with visible tattoos

A tattoo of the Olympic Rings has become a popular choice with many Olympians.
A tattoo of the Olympic Rings has become a popular choice with many Olympians.

After South Tyneside swimmer Josef Craig was sensationally disqualified yesterday from a European Championship race after he failed to cover up his tattoo, we look at seven other Olympians who bear some ink during competitions.

1) Michael Phelps - Swimming

French Swimmer Amaury Leveaux's tattooed wings on his back.

French Swimmer Amaury Leveaux's tattooed wings on his back.

The most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 medals, including 18 gold, Phelps has a tattoo of the five Olympic rings on his right hip, which is slightly covered by his trunks when he swims.

Having said the London 2012 Games were going to be his last, Phelps came out of retirement in April 2014 and is currently training at altitude in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Training Centre along with a large number of the USA national swimming squad.

2) LeBron James - Basketball

The American Basketballer has an incredible 42 tattoos etched all over his body, including many that can be seen when he playing for the national team and also for his club side, Cleveland Cavaliers.

One of Alain Bernard's tattoos is a shark that seems to appear from his trunks.

One of Alain Bernard's tattoos is a shark that seems to appear from his trunks.

Many of his tattoos also have a significant meaning, including his “CHOSEN1″ tattoo on his upper back stretching from shoulder to shoulder, which came after Sports Illustrated Magazine gave him this name on one of their front covers when he was still in high school.

3) Tom Daley - Diving

The British Diver was given a voucher by his mother for a tattoo for his 18th birthday. He celebrated his bronze medal victory at the London 2012 games by getting the traditional Olympic rings tattooed onto his bicep alongside teammates Sarah Barrow and Chris Mears.

He is not the only member of Team GB to have an inking. His diving teammate Nick Robinson-Baker also has the rings, while British gymnast Daniel Keatings has the five Olympic rings, in colour, and a British lion, in red and blue, on his stomach.

4) Amaury Leveaux - Swimming

Considering the organisers at Josef Craig's International Paralympic Committee event disqualified him for not covering his tattoo, they may have had a field day with Frenchman Leveaux, who has a large pair of wings etched onto his back.

Despite many thinking he reckoned he would be able to fly in the pool with them, he showed his critics who was boss by setting a new world record for the short course 100m freestyle with a time of 44.94 seconds in 2008.

5) Misty-Mae Treanor - Beach Volleyball

Famous on the Olympic scene for her Beach Volleyball partnership with Kerri Walsh, Misty-Mae Treanor has three tattoos which are all visible when she is on court during the Summer Games.

Her most recognisable inking is the the Roman Numeral for 5 on her lower back, with initials intermixed. The represented her old College number, with her Grandmothers initials either side.

She also has an angel tattooed on her left shoulder in dedication to her late mother, while her third inking, an M-squared design, on her right wrist is one with both her and her husband, Matt, both have.

6) Louis Smith - Gymnastics

Britain's most decorated Olympic Gymnast Smith has a large tattoo across his back saying 'What I Deserve I Earn' on top of angel wings. Below the wings, he added the words 'rest in peace, nan, missing you' as a tribute to his maternal grandmother, Dilys Petch, who died in 2009.

Smith will be hoping to add to his three medals when he and the Team GB Gymnastics squad head to Rio in August.

7) Alain Bernard - Swimming

The Frenchman's tattoo is arguably the most creative, with a shark on his left hip seeming to appear out of his trunks when he competes. Inked on after his success at the 2008 Games, Bernard got the tattoo as a symbol of his speed, saying he was swimming as quick as a Shark through the Ocean during the Beijing Games.