Caeleb Dressel Adds Leg Sleeve Tattoo in 14-Hour Inking Session

Olympic gold medalist and World Record holder Caeleb Dressel revealed some new body art on his Instagram this week. Dressel, who is instantly-recognizable for the full sleeve of tattoos on his left arm, has turned his entire right leg into a canvas with tattoos now going from his hip down to his ankle.

Dressel states that the inking session took 14 hours and was done by artist Travis Bruce of Electric Gold Tattoo Company in St. Petersburg, Florida. Despite the 14-hour session the tattoo remains incomplete; at present, only the outlines of the images are completed, the next step will be to fill them in with color.

Dressel has some of the most recognizable body art in swimming in terms of both total coverage as well as uniqueness of the images. Like most Olympians, Dressel has the Olympic rings tattooed on his body, in his case, on his right forearm. Dressel also has an alligator, a bald eagle, and a bear on his left arm, each of which is endemic to his home state of Florida. Dressel’s left arm also shows images of oranges, one of the Sunshine State’s biggest exports.

Dressel’s arm tattoos were done in 2018 by artist James Cumberland, according to Dressel already had a partial-sleeve on his left shoulder and upper-arm by the time of his first Olympic Games in 2016, though by the time of the 2017 World Championships, where Dressel won 6 gold medals, he had begun the process of having the tattoos removed and redone. The artwork that was etched onto his skin in 2018 and that still remains there is the work of Cumberland. You can listen to Dressel talk more about his 2018 tattoos here.

The tattoos on Dressel’s arm was used as motivation by muralist Brittany Johnson who was commissioned to custom paint a Toyota Supra for display at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials in Omaha, Nebraska. Toyota, of course, is a sponsor of the Olympics as well as professional athletes including Dressel.

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