The British capital is awash in Olympic ink – tattoo ink, that is.
At Olympic venues around London, competitors flaunt marks of blood, sweat, tears – and, hopefully, glory – on toned arms, hips and torsos.
But tattoos of the Olympic logo aren’t just for the world’s top athletes. Amateurs, performers at the opening ceremony and tourists as well have been inspired to get the Olympic spirit under their skin.
In the Olympic host city, tattoo parlours say they have been getting some extra business from athletes and people who are involved in the Games.
Many Olympians like to record their achievements or tell their life story through body art – and tattoos of the five rings are so common sometimes it seems that non-inked bodies are the minority.
The art is most visible on swimmers – Michael Phelps has the rings on his hip, and fellow Americans Ryan Lochte and Matthew Grevers both sport them on their biceps.
But the plain Olympic rings are the most popular choice for tourists and fans who want a permanent souvenir of their trip.
“They’re mainly Americans – there’s a hell of a lot of Americans in town,” said Darryl Gates, owner of Diamond Jacks, a Soho tattoo parlour.
Those considering getting an Olympic tattoo may want to stick to the simpler designs. One American visitor picked a more elaborate one and it will make her remember the London Games but for all the wrong reasons.
Jerri Peterson wanted to commemorate her moment as an Olympic torchbearer, but her artist, based in Georgia, misspelt Olympic. Her body art reads “Oylmpic Torch Bearer” instead.
“I looked at it and I was so disappointed. I called my husband and he giggled a little bit,” Peterson, from Atlanta, told the BBC after she carried the torch through the English town of Derby. “Then I started laughing about it and I’ve laughed ever since.”
By Sylvia Huia