The Olympians – Adam Peaty’s tattoos

The Olympians – Adam Peaty’s tattoos

When Staffordshire-born Adam Peaty touched the wall in the men’s 100 meter breaststroke in Tokyo on Monday morning, bringing home the first gold medal for team GB in the one-year delayed Olympic Games, he did so with a whole lot more body art on display compared to when he won in Rio in 2016.

Tattoos for the win

Adam Peaty tattoos
Photo from Instagram @adam_peaty

When then 21-year old Peaty stepped up onto the blocks to claim the first Olympic gold by a male British swimmer in 24 years, his arms were as bare as the day he was born. However, the past five years have seen a lot of work go into two full sleeves, proudly on display in the pool and during his victory roar as he finished the race in Tokyo ahead of Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands and Italy’s Nicolo Martinenghi.

As many Olympians, Peaty has gotten the Olympic rings tattooed. Sitting on the inside of his left bicep, they are the only representation of coloured ink we can discern. Underneath them he has the word ‘equilibrium’, representing his belief in balance in all areas of life to support a performance mindset. 

The first of Peaty’s black and grey collection came about after his historic world record Rio win five years ago. As many other male athletes, Peaty chose to symbolize his dominance in the sport with a lion. Carrying the additional reference of a British lion, it sits on his left shoulder and is supported in space by the Roman numerals XXVI – 2016. 

Greek gods and heroes

Poseidon Greek God
Poseidon is a fitting theme for a man who spends half his waking hours in the water

However, there are also more directly aquatically themed motives on Peaty’s ink-covered arms. On his left forearm sits Poseidon, the God of the seas in Greek mythology, paired with his trident with the words Coruage, Integrity, and Belief banded across. The Ancient Greek theme continues with Athina and Achilles on his right arm, as well as a text that says ‘conquer your demons’ banded across a sword. 

His latest, very recent, piece rounding out the outer part of his right arm sleeve is of a warrior that looks like it could be Spartan, but the shield seems to have latin words written on it, so most likely it is a depiction of a Gladiator. As it is so new, it has been hard to get a proper look at it, but hopefully there will be some full view photos soon. Either way, we are pretty certain it won’t be the last for Peaty who says getting a new tattoo gives him a sense of accomplishment. 

In 2019, Peaty told the BBC that getting a new tattoo is akin to what he experiences in training. While in the pool or in the gym, Peaty says he enjoys pushing his body to achieve an endorphin rush – similar to the one experienced as your body produces feel-good chemicals to help you through the pain of getting a new tattoo done. 


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