Inking the Olympic rings (Rio Diary)

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Rio de Janeiro, Aug 6 (IANS) 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.

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“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.


Pokemon Go at Rio

It’s not just gold, silver and bronze, Olympians now have Pokemon to hunt for. The wildly popular augmented reality Pokemon Go mobile game debuted in Brazil just in time for the Rio Games, bringing cheer to participating athletes, visitors and locals alike.

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A smash hit across the globe, some athletes had complained that the app, in which players use their phones to hunt Pokemon characters, wasn’t available in Rio. Even Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes had appealed to the developers to launch the app in Brazil.

“Break out the sneakers and Poke Balls and get ready to explore the world around you,” the developers announced while launching the app ahead of the Games opening ceremony.

Japan’s reigning Olympic and six-time world champion gymnast Kohei Uchimura had racked up a staggering $5,000 in data charges attempting to play the game in Brazil.


Rio memorabilia

Can’t get enough of the Games? Grab the Rio merchandise with thousands of official products, including keepsakes, coins and stamps to be collected as memorabilia.

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One of the hottest products are the commemorative coins depicting the history of the Games. Minted in gold and silver, the coins celebrate customs and landscapes of Brazil and bear exclusive designs.

Each of them combine an outdoor sport being practised in front of a famous Rio landmark — rowing on Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, running in Flamengo Park, cycling at Vista Chinesa or playing beach volleyball at Copacabana.

Another popular collector’s item is the Rio 2016 commemorative postal stamp that displays nine Olympic sports — boxing, canoeing, fencing, football, golf, handball, taekwondo, table tennis and triathlon — as well as one Paralympic sport — judo.



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