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Olympic ink! 17 inspiring tattoos we've spotted in Rio

by Jenna Fratello / / Source: TODAY

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Medals aren't the only accessories Olympians are sporting these days. We've seen some seriously cool manicures and nail art since the Rio Games began and now, we have another stylish aspect to look for: tattoos.

As athletes, their bodies may be their most important instrument, but that doesn't mean they can't add some art with inspiring ink. Here are 17 gold medal-worthy tattoos we've spotted in Rio.

1. Becky Downie, Great Britain, gymnastics

 Rebecca Downie of Great Britain competing on the balance beam on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Aug. 9. Lars Baron / Getty Images

Who says your ankles can't be accessorized while on the balance beam? There seems to be no better way to show off your Olympic rings.

Downie even tweeted a close up of her newly tatted ankle to commemorate the opening of the games.

"Little bit of yesterday," she captioned the photo.

RELATED: How to athletes avoid wedgies? And more Olympic questions you're afraid to ask

2. Alice Mizzau, Italy, swimming

When Italian swimmer Alice Mizzau announced that she'd be returning to the games this year, she shared an Instagram photo of her Olympic rings, writing, "Conquistato il Pass per la mia seconda Olimpiade! ❤️ 4x200, si continua a lavorare per il passo successivo! ?? "

Translated into English, that means, "Conquered the Pass for my second Olympic Games! 4x200. We continue to work for the next step!"

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3. Cao Shuo, China, track and field

 A tattoo is pictured on the back of Cao Shuo of China as he competes. Reuters

Cao Shuo, a Chinese track-and-field athlete who specializes in the triple jump, proudly wears an inspiring quote across his back that reads, "Nothing is impossible for a willing heart."

We agree!

4. Dana Vollmer, United States, swimming

 Dana Vollmer of the United States, Alicia Coutts of Australia, Missy Franklin of the United States, Leisel Jones of Australia, Allison Schmitt of the United States and Emily Seebohm of Australia congratulate each other following the Women's 4x100m Medley Relay on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Al Bello / Getty Images

The rings are back again ... this time, they're actually on someone's back.

Four-time gold medalist (and new mother) Dana Vollmer lets her Olympic rings peak out from the back of her Team USA swimsuit while congratulating her teammates in Rio.

RELATED: 9 Brazilian beauty treatments we're taking home from Rio

5. Federica Pellegrini, Italy, swimming

 Federica Pellegrini of Italy greets fans before competin in the 'Sette Colli' International Swimming Trophy at Stadio del Nuoto on June 25 in Rome. Paolo Bruno / Getty Images

The 28 year-old Italian gold medalist has a total of nine tattoos, but one of her most noticeable is that of a skull on her right arm, just below her elbow.

6. Inika McPherson, United States, track and field

 Inika McPherson of USA preps for the women's high jump. Reuters

Texas-bred all-star Inika McPherson has a whopping total of 27 tattoos and is always easy to spot on the high jump.

While the word "Bella" written across the front of her neck is a sweet sentiment, she said her personal favorite is the hummingbird on the back of her neck that that really make her the fly-est of all high jumpers.

She told SPIKES that the bird represents the message that, “Life moves on, and you should look forward to the future.”

7. Irina Sazonova, Iceland, gymnastics

 A picture taken on Aug. 4 shows a tattoo of the Olympic rings on Iceland's Irina Sazonova during a practice session ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. AFP - Getty Images

We're loving Russian-born gymnast Irina Sazonova's ultra-inspiring Rio tattoo. It's the perfect surprise underneath her adorable ponytail.

RELATED: 11 Olympic nail art designs that deserve a gold medal

8. Jessica Quintino, Brazil, handball

 Jessica Quintino of Brazil is seen at a match between Angola and Brazil on Day 7 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Lars Baron / Getty Images

Brazilian handball player Jessica Quintino loves showing off her precious tattoo of Mickey and Minnie Mouse on the back of her bicep — and we don't blame her! This may take the gold for cutest tattoo of them all.

9. Kerri Walsh Jennings, United States, beach volleyball

 Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States celebrates a point during the Beach Volleyball Women's Bronze medal match against Larissa Franca Maestrini and Talita Rocha of Brazil. Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

It's "to infinity and beyond" for beach volleyball phenom and three-time gold medalist Kerri Walsh-Jennings. The most decorated beach volleyball player in Olympic history has an infinity symbol just above her bikini line.

10. Khatuna Lorig, United States, archery

 Khatuna Lorig of the United States takes aim during the women's individual archery ranking round at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Jeff Gross / Getty Images

So many Olympic rings, so little time.

Team USA archer Khatuna Lorig's skills are straight out of the "Hunger Games" (she did teach Jennifer Lawrence the sport, after all), and her tattoo of the rings on her forearm captures her true Olympic spirit. Since 1992, she has represented various countries in the games including the United States and Georgia.

11. Luisa Peters, Cook Islands, weightlifting

 Luisa Peters of the Cook Islands lifts on Aug. 14 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty Images

Luisa Peters is one fierce weightlifter, and the Olympic rings on her impressive biceps are no joke.

12. Missy Franklin, United States, swimming

 Missy Franklin poses for a portrait at the 2016 Team USA Media Summit at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 7. Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images

One of America's favorite swimmers, Missy Franklin, finally got to show off her Olympic rings in this year's games.

Now 20 years-old, Franklin was made an exception when she got inked back in 2012 at just 16 years old (the age requirement was 18, even with parental permission).

We dug up this tweet from four years ago, where an excited Franklin shows off her new (and permanent) declaration of love for her sport.

13. Monika Brzostek, Poland, beach volleyball

 Monika Brzostek of Poland competes in the main draw match against Czech Republic on Feb. 26 in Maceio, Brazil. Alexandre Schneider / Getty Images

Brzostek chose one of the most beloved sayings of all time — reminding us to seize the day both on and off the court. Talk about 24/7 motivation!

RELATED: How Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross stay healthy and safe in the sun

14. Salwan Jasim Abbood, Iraq, weightlifting

 Salwan Jasim Abbood, of Iraq wears a Rio Olympics weightlifting tattoo as he competes in the men's event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Mike Groll / AP

If this photo isn't proof that Abbood is worthy of the Olympic rings and barbells tattooed on his mega-strong bicep, we don't know what is.

15. Serena Williams, United States, tennis

 Serena Williams's heart tattoo is seen between games against Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia on March 25, 2013 in Key Biscayne, Florida. Al Bello / Getty Images

This super cute heart tattoo on the back of Serena Williams' neck deserves some serious LOVE. (See what we did there?)

16. Svetlana Kuznetsova, Russia, tennis

 Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia hits during the women's third round match against Johanna Konta of Great Britain on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Cameron Spencer / Getty Images

Kuznetsova's tattoo proves that she means business on the court. The ink across her bicep reads, "Pain doesn't kill me, I kill the pain."

Consider us officially intimidated.

17. Vanessa Ferrari, Gymnast, Italy

 Italy's Vanessa Ferrari waits to perform during the gymnastics women's individual all-around final at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. David Goldman / AP

Ferrari, generally considered to be the best Italian gymnast of all time after securing the all-around gold 10 years ago at the 2006 World Championships, pays tribute to her craft with a set of rings on the back of her neck. Rio may have been her last international competition, but her Olympic spirit is forever immortalized.

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