Sporting Their Ink: Professional Female Athletes With Awesome Tattoos

Athletes | 8/12/21

As tattoos have become more commonplace, athletes and celebrities have started showing off their ink. Professional athletes have displayed their tattoos at the Olympics and on the red carpet; some even appeared on the show LA Ink and Inked Magazine. If you want to see female athletes with awe-inspiring tattoos, big and small, you’re in the right place.

Laila Ali’s Unexpectedly Cute Tattoos

If you were to guess what Laila Ali–daughter of Muhammed Ali and retired professional boxer–had as tattoos, what would it be? It likely wouldn’t be a cute teddy bear.

Laila Ali shows off her tattoos, a teddy bear on her shoulder and a floral design on her wrist.
David McNew/Steve Granitz/WireImage
David McNew/Steve Granitz/WireImage

Surprisingly, the undefeated boxer has a teddy bear tattooed on her shoulder and a floral design around her wrist, like a bracelet.

Why Natasha Kai Appeared On LA Ink

Natasha Kai, American soccer player and Olympic gold medalist, has so many tattoos that she even appeared on LA Ink. She has over 60 tattoos, including two full sleeves, torso tattoos, and leg tattoos.

Natashi Kai runs during a training session for the US soccer team.
LIU JIN/AFP via Getty Images
Henry S. Dziekan III/Getty Images

Kai received her first tattoo at age 19 from a dare, but then she fell in love. Many of her tattoos include Hawaiian Polynesian art, in honor of her home state.

Federica Pellegrini Shows Off Tats While Swimming

Italian swimmer Federica Pellegrini holds the world record for the women’s 200-meter freestyle and won eight Olympic medals in a row. During her swimming competitions, you can see some of Pellegrini’s 14 tattoos.

Federica Pellegrini dives into the pool.
Matteo Ciambelli/NurPhoto via Getty Images

She has a dragon tattoo on her right ankle, a phoenix on her neck, and a sugar skull on her inner arm. The largest are her roses and calligraphy tattoos on her waist.

Simone Biles Commemorated The Olympics

Many Olympic athletes get tattoos to commemorate their entrance into the games, and Simone Biles is no exception. In 2016, the 24-year-old gymnast got a tattoo of the Olympic rings on her outer arm.

Simone Biles shows off her olympic rings tattoo.
Ashley Rohrbacher/Pinterest
Ashley Rohrbacher/Pinterest

But she has more. Biles also has the phrase “And shall I rise” on her right collar bone and her birth year (1997) above her left elbow.

Anastasia Yankova Earned A Spot In Inked Magazine

Russian mixed martial artist Anastasia Yankova is no stranger to tattoos. She even received an article in Inked Magazine for the large tattoos on her thigh, torso, feet, and arms.

Anastasia Yankova poses on the red carpet as she attends Spike TV's 10th Annual Guys Choice Awards.
Frazer Harrison/David Livingston/Getty Images
Frazer Harrison/David Livingston/Getty Images

Yankova told that every tattoo has personal meaning for her. “And even my mom, who didn’t want to talk to me for one day after I got my first big tattoo, says that she can’t imaging me without them already,” she said.

Elaine Thompson-Herah’s Tattoos Encourage Her Running

Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah has won multiple gold medals. During her 100-meter and 200-meter dashes, viewers could see the tattoos on her arms and legs.

Elaine Thompson-Herah celebrates winning a gold medal during the Tokyo Olympics.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Thompson-Herah’s tattoos feature a variety of subjects. A notable one on her arm says, “Nothing is impossible. Even the word impossible says ‘I’m Possible.’”

Stefanie Dolson Got Her First Tattoo At Age 16

Basketball player Stefanie Dolson is known for her Olympic gold medal and back-to-back national championships in the WNBA. When she was 16, she received her first tattoo, and since then has gotten seven or eight more.

While shooting a hoop during a game, Stefanie Dolson reveals her arm tattoos.
Meg Oliphant/Getty Images
Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

The most visible is a large bouquet of roses on Dolson’s bicep. She also inked the initials of her parents and three siblings.

Lita Became Known For Her Arm Tattoos

Amy Christine Dumas, best known by her wrestling name Lita, is one of the greatest wrestlers who ever joined the WWE. She became known for her signature shoulder tattoo–one of the first tatted female wrestlers to rise to fame.

Lita shows off her tattoos at a Make-a-Wish celebration.
Carlo Allegri/Getty Images and Laura Cavanaugh/WireImage
Carlo Allegri/Getty Images and Laura Cavanaugh/WireImage

Lita doesn’t just have tattoos on her shoulders; she also has a gargoyle on her right bicep, Russian letters on the back of her neck, and the word “punk” inside her lower lip.

Jéssica Quintino Has Some Unique Tattoos

Brazilian handball player Jéssica Quintino participated in the Olympics twice, where her tattoos were seen by the world. She has ten tattoos, most of which are on her arms.

Jéssica Quintino plays during the Rio Olympic games.
FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images
FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

The most visible designs are the lion tattoo on her left forearm and Mickey and Minnie tattoo on her left triceps. On the back of her neck, she sports the Olympic rings for the Rio games.

Serena Williams’s Subtle Self-Love Ink

Serena Williams, the former No. 1 in women’s single tennis, does not have many visible tattoos. But she has two tiny ones on the back of her left shoulder and the back of her neck.

A photo of the back of Serena Williams's neck reveals a heart tattoo.
PAUL CROCK/AFP via Getty Images
John Parra/WireImage

According to Body Art Guru, Williams’s shoulder tattoo is a rose that represents self-love. The back of her neck has a heart silhouette.

Candace Parker Has A Few Couples Tattoos

Candace Parker, who plays basketball for the Chicago Sky, has four tattoos. She told the WNBA that she has “four tats (both wrists, back, and lower stomach).”

While lifting a basketball, Candace Parker reveals her wrist and arm tattoos.
Katharine Lotze/Getty Images
Katharine Lotze/Getty Images

Parker has a few couples tattoos with her husband. One is a key on her right wrist, which matches the lock on her husband’s. One on her back says “always SC forever,” her and her husband’s initials.

Sydney Leroux Has Over 15 Tattoos

Sydney Leroux is an Olympic gold medalist and professional soccer player for both Canadian and American teams. She has over 15 tattoos on her arms, torso, and neck.

Sydney Leroux trains for a soccer match in Kansas City.
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

During an interview with The Post Game, Leroux said that her tattoos express her love of writing. Others are devoted to her mother, who raised her herself.

Pamela Ware’s Surrealist Design On Her Back

Canadian diver Pamela Ware has some unique tattoos on her back. This includes a surrealist illustration of two eyes and a hand, with a mouth inside the hand.

Pamela Ware shows off her tattoos during the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages and Bernard Weil/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages and Bernard Weil/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Following the Rio 2016 Olympics, Ware and her team got the Olympic rings tattooed on her left shoulder. She also has a smiley face behind her ear and a sun and moon on the backs of her legs.

Jessamyn Duke’s Unforgettable 3/4 Sleeve

It’s hard to discuss athlete tattoos without mentioning Jessamyn Duke, mixed martial artist and UFC wrestler. Duke has a noticeable 3/4 sleeve in a variety of colors of patterns.

Jessamyn Duke flexes her muscles and shows off her tattoos.
Rey Del Rio/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Rey Del Rio/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The sleeve is in a bio-mech design with impressive artistry. Duke has other tattoos, too, including a small bit of script on her left collarbone and some images on her stomach.

Misty May-Treanor’s Dedication To Her Departed Mother

Although she is now retired, Misty May-Treanor remains a notable beach volleyball player along with her teammate, Kerri Walsh Jennings. May-Treanor has three Olympic gold medals and three tattoos.

Misty May-Treanor plays volleyball and reveals the angel tattoo on her shoulder.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images and Carol Lowery/Pinterest
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images and Carol Lowery/Pinterest

One is an angel on her left shoulder with her deceased mother’s initials. She also has an “M²” on her wrist that stands for “Misty May.”

Anastasia Davydova Has Butterflies Covering Her Body

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Anastasia Davydova is a Russian synchronized swimmer. While she’s in the water, you can see the gorgeous tattoos on her back.

Anastasia Davydova's swimsuit reveals her back tattoos.
Suzi Mason/Pinterest
Suzi Mason/Pinterest

Davydova has a long trail of butterflies that wraps around her bicep and across her back. According to Body Art Guru, it signifies freedom, beauty, and change.

Gabriela Stoeva’s Tattoos Are Glaringly Obvious

Bulgarian badminton player Gabriela Stoeva is a two-time European Champion and European Games gold medalist, along with her sister, Stefani. But Gabriela has more tattoos.

A picture shows Gabriela Stoeva's tattoos and fingernails as she serves during a badminton match.
Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images

Her arm has visible script and bird tattoos, which you can see when she serves. She also has the Olympic rings on her wrist, similar to other athletes who competed there.

Brenda Castillo’s Neck Is Geometric

Dominican volleyball player Brenda Castillo has a whopping 14 tattoos. The Best Libero of the 2012 Summer Olympics has visible ink on her neck, chest, shoulders, and hands.

Her neck and chest are decorated with an intricate geometric design. On her hands, there are more mandalas and a tiny heart on her finger.

Charlotte Flair Is Not Shy About Her Ink

As the daughter of Ric Flair, Charlotte Flair made a name for herself in WWE wrestling. Like other female wrestlers, Flair is not shy about showing off ink.

Charlotte Flair shows a tattoo on the side of her wrist.
Ashlyn Cave/Pinterest

Flair has multiple tattoos on her wrists, arms, waist, and torso. Her right forearm has a quote from the Guns N’ Roses song “Patience,” and the left side of her torso has Proverbs 4:23.

Christmas Abbott’s 13 Tattoos All Have Meaning

Christmas Abbott is best known for appearing on the American show Big Brother, but she is also an accomplished CrossFit athlete and instructor. She is also covered in tattoos.

Christmas Abbott flexes her muscles and shows off her tattoo sleeve.
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

According to Bustle, Abbott has 13 tattoos, all with personal meanings. These include a weeping willow on her calf and a goddess on her right shoulder.

Sydney Leroux

Sydney Leroux is an American Olympic Gold winning soccer player, who played on the winning squad at the 2012 London Olympics.

leroux in a pool on a floatie with a stomach tattoo and arm sleeve
@sydneyleroux / Instagram
@sydneyleroux / Instagram

She loves her mom, and has many tattoos dedicated to her.

Megan Anderson

Megan Anderson is an Australian MMA who is currently competing in the UFC and is an Invicta FC Featherweight champ.

megan anderson taking a mirror selfie
@megananderson / Instgram
@megananderson / Instgram

This powerful fighter loves her tattoos! She sports a ton of detailed black and grey art pieces all over her body.

Kerri Walsh Jennings

Jennings is a former beach volleyball player who has appeared in several Olympic games and won three gold medals for her efforts.

kerri with a volleyball posing in the studio
@kerrileewalsh / Instagram
@kerrileewalsh / Instagram

She’s got one visible tattoo on her lower stomach, but it’s unclear what the tiny piece of ink represents.


Amy Dumas, aka “Lita”, is considered one of the most successful female pro wrestlers, winning the WWE Women’s Championship four times!

lita taking a selfie with tattoos on her arms
@machetegirl / Instagram
@machetegirl / Instagram

She sports a super cool piece on her shoulder, something that definitely intimidates her opponents.

Anastasia Yankova

Russian MMA fighter Anastasia Yankova has plenty of love for the sport and for ink.

woman with tattoos posing on a ladder in a multicolored rain jacket
@anastasia_yankova / Instagram
@anastasia_yankova / Instagram

She has one famous and meaningful quote on her forearm from Muhammad Ali, “Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Bee”.

Misty-May Treanor

Treanor is a former beach volleyball player who has won three gold medals at the Olympic games in Athens, Beijing, and London.

misty getting ready to return a volleyball serve
Misty May Treanor / Facebook
Misty May Treanor / Facebook

She has lots of sentimental tattoos, including an angel that has her mother’s initials on her back.

Ashlyn Harris

Ashlyn Harris is a two-time World Champion American goalkeeper and was part of the winning 2015 and 2019 Fifa World Cup squads.

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@ashlynharris / Instagram
@ashlynharris / Instagram

She also proudly sports two arm sleeve tattoos.

Jessamyn Duke

Jessamyn Duke is a MMA fighter who has done her fair share of fights in the UFC and in the all-female fight promotion group Invicta FC. She was also part of the MMA’s Four Horsewomen, which included Ronda Rousey.

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@jessamynduke / Instagram
@jessamynduke / Instagram

Duke is also known for her incredibly colorful arm sleeve.

Brittney Palmer

UFC Octagon Girl Brittney Palmer has hit the ring and graced the pages of Maxim and Playboy.

brittney taking a selfie and theres a small tattoo on her elbow
@brittneypalmer / Instagram
@brittneypalmer / Instagram

Her biggest piece is the Shakespeare quote on her back reading, “But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes, Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.”

Velvet Sky

Former wrestler, Jane Szantyr aka “Velvet Sky” was a huge fan favorite on Total Nonstop Action (TNA) wrestling.

velvet sky posing with blonde woman
@velvetissky / Instagram
@velvetissky / Instagram

Not only known for her moves in the ring, she’s go some incredible tats on her arms and lower back.