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

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

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.

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

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

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

Federica Pellegrini dives into the pool.
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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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

Yankova told RT.com 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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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 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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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).”

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

A picture shows Gabriela Stoeva's tattoos and fingernails as she serves during a badminton match.
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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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.