Fung, 35, who has approximately 25 other tattoos, told ABC News that he was inspired to get the swimmer’s face tattooed on him shortly after watching the moment on the internet and then researching the swimmer.
“I admire people who aspire to be great,” he added. “With the amount of determination and focus that he has, every day I want to look at my leg and wake up and channel all of this and do great things.”
Fung said the actual black-ink tattoo took about three to four to complete. It was done by his employee, Livia Tsang, who posted a now viral photo of the tattoo to Instagram.
The tattoo shop owner has received a variety of reactions to his new tattoo, varying from “yeah, that’s awesome” to “oh my God, why would you do that? How would that look in 20 years?” he said.
Fung reflected, “I think I’ll have much bigger concerns in 20 years. I’ll be 55 and, God, if I’m healthy, the last thing I’ll be thinking about is this.”
Now that the image of the tattoo has gone viral, Fung hopes it inspires other people to harness their determination like Phelps, who is set to retire after the 2016 Olympics.
“I don’t think people have enough of that in this world,” Fung said. “You don’t give yourself the time to focus on one thing and to me, I thought that was the greatest thing — that moment when you knew he was locked in.”