Rio de Janeiro : They just don’t wear their hearts on their sleeves but also get them inked. Blessed with some of the hottest bodies in the world, Olympians are flaunting their tattoos — a permanent expression of their sporting passion.

From mythical characters to word-search puzzles, intricate tattoos have found abode in the chiselled bodies of the athletes but the iconic Olympic rings seem to be the fad as they sit proudly on ankles, biceps, hips and shoulders of the stars taking part at the globe’s greatest sporting spectacle.

Among the many stars to get inked with the Olympic rings are US swimmer and 11-time Olympic medallist Ryan Lochte, Australian champion swimmer Emily Seebohm and British gymnast Rebecca Downie. “I feel like the Olympic rings is the one tattoo that only we can get,” says ace US archer Brady Ellison, who proudly sports the rings on his biceps.

Incidentally, British Paralympian Josef Craig was disqualified from a race at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) European Swimming Championships in May for sporting an Olympic rings tattoo which the organisers said breached advertising rules. Craig’s disqualification had led to rumours circulating that athletes with the Olympic rings tattoo would be disqualified from elite sports.

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