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How many tattoos does Megan Rapinoe have? What do they mean?

The legend of the USWNT is known for so much more than just her skills on the field of play, including the images that she has added across her body.

The legend of the USWNT is known for so much more than just her skills on the field of play, including the images that she has added across her body.

September 2023 is going to be a meaningful one for those associated with the United States Women’s National Team, as arguably the most influential player in its history hangs up her international boots. Megan Rapinoe will take her final bow for the USWNT on Sunday evening at the TQL Stadium in Cincinnati in a friendly against the visitors from South Africa.

“This game is so beautiful, even in its cruelest moments,” Rapinoe said after she and her compatriots departed this summer’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand earlier than planned. “This group was so very special, and I am immensely proud of every single one of us. This team is in special hands as I walk away, just like it always was, and always will be.”

It may have been her final appearance in the FIFA showpiece tournament, and now a complete farewell is upon us.

Megan Rapinoe and her tattoos

The 38-year-old OL Reign star has been an integral part of the national team for over a decade but also came to global prominence due to her off-field activities. As a vocal advocate for numerous LGBTQIA+ organizations, she has also added being named in Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2020, to her many sporting acoldaes. And she was also handed the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Joe Biden a couple of years later.

But there’s another part of Megan Rapinoe that has had plenty of tongues wagging over the years: the tattoos that adorn her body. The latest of these, as far as our investigations have, ahem, uncovered, came on the back of her recent retirement announcement. She shared an image of the ink work on social media, with a message: ‘Bonded by ❤️ and 🖋️,’ pointing to the relationship with her partner Sue Bird.

So what other tattoos does the Californian have and what do they mean?

1985 chest tattoo: a year to remember

At the 2022 ESPY Awards, Rapinoe unveiled a bold addition to her ink collection - the year “1985″ boldly emblazoned across her chest in Old English font. This prominent tattoo carries significant meaning for Rapinoe, but she didn’t stop there. On the same day, she also got an “M8″ tattoo on her arm, leaving fans curious about the deeper symbolism behind these numerals.

The mysterious lightning bolt on her left forearm

One of Rapinoe’s more enigmatic tattoos is a solid black lightning bolt adorning her left forearm. While this lightning bolt remains shrouded in mystery, it undoubtedly adds an element of intrigue to her overall tattoo repertoire.

Arabic wrist tattoo: a message of self-trust

Inscribed on the inside of her right wrist, Rapinoe bears a meaningful message written in Arabic that simply states, “Trust yourself.” This elegant tattoo serves as a constant reminder to maintain self-confidence and belief, although some fans have questioned its legibility.

Left wrist mystery: a small, enigmatic design

On her left wrist, Rapinoe sports a small, cryptic black ink design. The exact nature and significance of this particular tattoo remain undisclosed, keeping fans guessing.

Homage to her hometown: the California outline

The outline of California can be found on Rapinoe’s right bicep, paying homage to her roots in Redding, CA. This tattoo serves as a heartfelt tribute to her hometown and the place where her remarkable journey began.

Three interconnected triangles on Rapinoe right arm

Located on the back of her right arm, Rapinoe proudly displays three interconnected triangles. The true meaning behind this geometric design remains a well-guarded secret, leaving room for speculation and intrigue.

Megan Rapinoe confirma su retiro
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Megan Rapinoe announces her retirement.SEAN M. HAFFEYAFP

“Mammers” tattoo: a tribute to Mom

Rapinoe revealed herself that there is a special place on her skin for a touching tribute to her mother. The word “Mammers,” a term of endearment derived from her mother’s nickname, “Mammer Jammers,” graces the outside of her left wrist. What makes it even more special is that it’s inked in her mother’s own handwriting.

Megan Rapinoe for the USWNT
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Megan Rapinoe for the USWNTGetty Images

“Nature ran her course” on Megan’s left bicep

On the inside of her left bicep, Rapinoe sports a hidden gem - the phrase “Nature ran her course.” While not easily visible, it serves as an empowering reminder of the forces beyond our control.

The “W” tattoo: a symbol of strength

Perhaps the most noticeable of her tattoos is the prominent “W” on her right wrist. Although this symbol is often associated with winning, according to Megan’s sister, Jennifer Brooks, this “W” represents “Warrior Woman,” signifying the relentless drive that runs in their family.

Wristy | OL Reign forward Megan Rapinoe
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Wristy | OL Reign forward Megan RapinoeTroy WayrynenUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

In the world of Megan Rapinoe, tattoos are more than just black ink on skin. They are symbolic expressions of her experiences, beliefs, and her personal journey. Each tattoo tells a unique story, adding depth and intrigue to the persona of this remarkable athlete and advocate.