AP PHOTOS: Taboo in Tokyo, tattoos on display at Olympics

TOKYO — Taboo in much of Tokyo, tattoos are everywhere at the Olympics.

PHOTO: A tattoo on the arm of Olympic athlete Adam Peaty of Britain, July 25, 2021.

There’s the lion on British swimmer Adam Peaty’s shoulder. An inspirational message on the arm of Chinese 3-on-3 basketball player Yan Peng. A likeness of Christ the Redeemer on the calf of Spanish boxer Gabriel Escobar Mascunano.

PHOTO: A tattoo on the leg of Spain's Gabriel Escobar Mascunano during his fight with Argentina's Ramon Nicanor Quiroga at the 2020 Summer Olympics, July 26, 2021, in Tokyo.

Shallon Olsen, of Canada, performs on the balance beam during the women's artistic gymnastic qualifications at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

And the Olympic rings. So many Olympic rings.

French swimmer Fantine Lasaffre has them on her left forearm, and American shooter Kayle Browning on her right wrist. They’re on Moroccan boxer Abdelhaq Nadir’s left bicep, and on the ankle of Canadian gymnast Shallon Olsen.

Italian gymnast Vanessa Ferrari has them, too, on the back of her neck — along with ink commemorating previous trips to the Beijing, London and Rio de Janiero Games.

PHOTO: A Olympic rings tattoo is seen on the neck of Vanessa Ferrari of Italy during training, July 22, 2021, in Tokyo.

Poland Zofia Noceti-Klepacka competes during race 2 of the women's RS:X class at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Fujisawa, Japan. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

A swimmer walks on the pool deck before racing at the Tokyo Aquatic Center at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Athletes won’t do much mingling with locals at these pandemic-restricted Olympics. If they did, they might not find their body art as welcome. Tattoos remain stigmatized in Japan, where those with them are commonly banned from beaches, gyms, pools and elsewhere around Japan.

PHOTO: France's Lucie Anastassiou shows her tattoos as she competes in women's skeet qualification during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Asaka Shooting Range in  Tokyo, July 25, 2021.

PHOTO: Liam Broady of Great Britain's tattoo of Achilles is revealed as he changes shirts during his Men's Singles First Round match against Argentina's Francisco Cerundolo at the Tokyo Olympic Games at Ariake Tennis Park, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo.

No such restrictions in the Olympic bubble, though. In the pool, on the beach, at the range — the athletes are redefining what it means to have the mark of a champion.

PHOTO: A swimmer sporting a shark tattoo prepares to compete in a swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo on July 24, 2021.


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