“Careful, sweetheart, or you’ll break a nail.” What an outdated, overused line that is. Perhaps when press-on nails were in their heyday and before shellac or gel polish was invented, breaking a nail was a legitimate concern. Not anymore though. These athletes have  shot arrows and guns, flipped around beams and poles, landed in the sand, jumped into the pool, run the distance, lifted the weight and fought their opponent all while keeping their nails in top form.

Considering the fact that Olympic athletes have about 1,000,000,001 other things to focus on outside of their nail color, this slideshow is all the more impressive. These athletes, ah-pardon me, these magnificently hard-working ladies have dedicated time that could be spent preparing for their next competition, to gettin’ their nails DID. Why bother? I mean, does it really matter? They are Olympians, for goodness sakes! Nobody cares what their nails look like. Right?

Well, clearly they do. Nail art is not just for professional manicurists or “whimsical, quirky tweens”. Nail art, like fashion, is a form of expression. It’s a creative outlet. It’s a skill. It’s a hobby. It’s a freaking good time. And for these women, it was not only a way to send some love to their home countries, it was also a badge of honor.

As the London Olympics come to a close, we have many things to celebrate. Dreams came true, gold medals were won, countries rejoiced in the victories of their athletes……and nail art was rightfully ROCKED.

Cheers to that!


Image via Style.MTV.com