Missy Franklin plans to bring tattoo home along with medals

Swimmer Missy Franklin will leave London with four gold medals, a bronze and a hip tattoo of the Olympic rings, if all goes according to plan.

The tat is a Team USA Swimming tradition. Michael Phelps, Brendan Hansen and Matt Grevers already have it, and the 17-year-old confirmed to TODAY.com she hopes to get the celebratory ink before she leaves London.

"Getting a tattoo has never been something I ever thought I would do, but this one just has so much meaning to it and it is really something that you have to earn,” Missy said. “It’s an honor to have it."

Missy Franklin wants to get the same tattoo that Matt Grevers, left, has on her hip.

Missy says she's actively looking for a tattoo shop that fits her needs.

"There are a few other girls that might be coming as well. We’re so excited,” Franklin said, adding that the crew will get the work done on Aug. 10, one day before her father's birthday. “Happy birthday, dad,” Missy shouted at her father, Dick Franklin, who was sitting nearby while the family was on set for Missy’s interview with Savannah Guthrie.

Unlike many parents of teenagers, Missy's mom and dad agree with their daughter’s decision. “It’s the only tattoo she’ll get and she’s earned it,” Dick said in an interview with TODAY.com last week.

Suhaib Salem / Reuters

Whether for good luck or reveling in a past win, Olympic athletes are sporting some serious tattoos. Check out the athletes who put their Olympic art on display.

When asked if he’d consider getting a tattoo alongside his daughter, Dick smiled, pointed to his bicep and joked, “Yeah, ‘Missy’s dad.’”

Ian Sager is covering the Games in London for TODAY.com. He's happy there's no Olympic press center tattoo.

More on TODAY.com:
Missy Franklin's mom: 'She's always been smiling'
Best yet? Swim team makes 'Call Me Maybe' lipdub
Missy Franklin: I'll win to 'shine some light' on Colo. 


Discuss this post

Wow, that's kinda slutty. Parenting FAIL.

    Reply#1 - Mon Aug 6, 2012 9:38 AM EDT

    Getting an Olympic rings tattoo is not slutty. First of all, having a tattoo has nothing to do with sluttiness. Second of all, it seems like she and her parents had a very open conversation about it and decided that the symbolism of the Olympic rings was very significant and will commemorate a wonderful achievement. Finally, I know several Olympians and they all have the Olympic rings as a tattoo. A couple of them said that they had never wanted a tattoo before making the Olympics, and will never get another, but are very proud of "earning" that tattoo.

    • 14 votes
    #1.1 - Mon Aug 6, 2012 10:24 AM EDT

    If you think tattoos are slutty then don't get one. I personally don't like them and would never get one but it certainly doesn't make me think less of people who have them. She has earned this decision.

    • 10 votes
    #1.2 - Mon Aug 6, 2012 11:28 AM EDT

    I think it is pretty sad that she is following the crowd and her parents are letting her. She is only 16... My kids can get tattoos and pierce anything they want...when they are 18 and old enough to make their own decisions. The last thing I want is to have them say to me some day....Why did you let me DO that!!!

      Reply#2 - Mon Aug 6, 2012 10:41 AM EDT

      1.) She's 17. They've said it every time she's climbed onto the starting blocks and it's mentioned in the article. Please learn to read.

      2.) Yes, it's horrible that she's following along and getting a symbol of an amazing achievement in her life. What a horrible person she is. I'm sure she'll regret getting the Olympic rings tattooed on her body after she competed in them. She's going to be living a life of regret forever.

      It's a terrible pity.

      • 17 votes
      #2.1 - Mon Aug 6, 2012 11:12 AM EDT

      Yeah when she's older and embarrassed by them she can hide them by wrapping her freaking GOLD Medals around the tattoo.

      • 5 votes
      #2.2 - Mon Aug 6, 2012 3:57 PM EDT

      She's old enough to get one in a more . . . private area. She's mature and very tall, so she's ready to date men who will appreciate her, rather then little boys.

        #2.3 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 3:11 PM EDT

        I think it is pretty cool that she is doing this and her parents are giving their blessing. It's not like she is getting a "tramp stamp", she is in some pretty elite company. Medals can be lost, stolen or sold, the tattoo will always be there!

        • 9 votes
        Reply#3 - Mon Aug 6, 2012 11:10 AM EDT

        Hmmmm....the five circles? Special? Nothing special about that...any moron can get that tat....dosn't signify anything

          #3.1 - Mon Aug 6, 2012 1:08 PM EDT

          Can you give blood after having a tattoo? Supply is already way down as it is ... I understand the tradition and the camaraderie ... but I also worry about the implications of the example.

            Reply#4 - Mon Aug 6, 2012 11:16 AM EDT

            Really? That is old policy. The ARC decided that people can give blood after 12 months since their last tattoo. The concern is chance of bad parlor using dirty needles resulting in possible risk of hepatitis infection. After 12 months you will know for sure if you contracted hepatitis. But that's OK because only a very small percentage of people ever actually give blood.

            • 2 votes
            #4.1 - Mon Aug 6, 2012 11:49 AM EDT

            Why not, look trashy like everyone else! and disappear for another 4 years, the sisters at the convent will not like a tattoo, unless it is a Jesus one.

              Reply#5 - Mon Aug 6, 2012 11:40 AM EDT

              Does getting a tattoo hurt? Just the idea of having someone sticking needles, a lot of them, into you - is enough to make me cringe.

                Reply#6 - Mon Aug 6, 2012 11:59 AM EDT

                I completely support her decision to get a tattoo. Dad should get one that says "My daughter went to the Olympics and all I got was this lousy tattoo"

                • 5 votes
                Reply#7 - Mon Aug 6, 2012 12:09 PM EDT

                Tacky. I thought she had a better head on her shoulders.

                • 1 vote
                Reply#8 - Mon Aug 6, 2012 12:18 PM EDT

                The tattoo is in a discreet place, so I don't see the harm. I'm sorry, but at 17 she's probably had sex as well. This doesn't make her slutty just normal.

                • 2 votes
                #8.1 - Mon Aug 6, 2012 2:48 PM EDT

                I'm not a fan of tattoo's but at least she is putting it in a spot not to be viewed by just anyone. Tattoo's are a personal decision so if she wants one and mom/dad aren't worried about it, more power to her.

                • 4 votes
                Reply#9 - Mon Aug 6, 2012 12:24 PM EDT

                Slutty? Not so much....but, dumb? Yup. What's the point? Copy the behavior of others? If YOU want a Tat...get one; but don't do it because others expect it of you. That is beneath a multiple Olympic Champion.....

                  Reply#10 - Mon Aug 6, 2012 1:05 PM EDT

                  I am so tired of people giving their opinions of what they think someone else should or should not do. You only sound pathetic.

                  • 4 votes
                  Reply#11 - Mon Aug 6, 2012 1:13 PM EDT

                  I am not a fan of Tatoos at all! I think 99% look rediculous. But not my problem and do not care as long as it was not my daughter. But I have no problems with her getting this Tat and would support my daughter to get it if she was an Olympian. Just put it somewhere like her that will not be hard to hide during professional or formal occaisions.

                  • 1 vote
                  Reply#12 - Mon Aug 6, 2012 1:31 PM EDT

                  Missy should consult these comments before deciding. We have the best views. She's so dumb for not asking us for our opinions.

                  • 3 votes
                  Reply#13 - Mon Aug 6, 2012 2:28 PM EDT

                  This girl has done nothing but represent our country well. The fact that she discussed getting a tattoo with her parents speaks volumes to her character. Tattoo or no tattoo, she is a role model for future generations of athletes, Olympians, and Americans.

                  • 2 votes
                  Reply#14 - Mon Aug 6, 2012 4:58 PM EDT

                  Nothing smarter than putting something permanent on your body and your first thought is 'how do I hide this?'.

                  • 1 vote
                  Reply#15 - Mon Aug 6, 2012 9:04 PM EDT

                  I am surprised that anyone would give a care if someone gets a tattoo or not. Really? It is a huge discussion? Do what you want, it is your body and your life. Someone doesn't like it, too bad. More people should worry about themselves.

                    Reply#16 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 10:29 AM EDT

                    I don't like tattoos at all, but in her case, I'd do it too. She is an amazing young woman and it's not like she's having it placed on her forehead.

                      Reply#17 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 2:04 PM EDT
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