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Influential Baby Names: Star Athletes

posted by: NancyMan View all posts by this author

By Nancy Man, Nancy’s Baby Names

The excitement generated by the recent Chicago Cubs World Series win – and by all the regular and post-season games leading up to it – could end up having an impact on the baby name charts in 2016. (I’m looking at you, Wrigley!)

But this shouldn’t be too surprising. Sports have been influencing baby names since the late 1800s. And I’m not just talking about the most high-profile sports like baseball, football, and basketball. I’m also talking about figure skating, gymnastics, running, skiing, rowing, boxing, car racing, horse racing, soccer, tennis, golf, the martial arts, and more.

As proof, here are a dozen sportspeople whose rise to fame can be linked to at least one baby name appearing on the U.S. baby name charts for the very first time:

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Baby Names Inspired by Olympians

By Pamela Redmond Satran

The names of some Olympic greats get a second chance at stardom as popular baby names. The Russian name Nadia, for instance, vaulted from nowhere to Number 360 in the US in 1976, after Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci charmed the world and won three gold medals. And American skier Bode Miller nudged his unusual name along with the original Sanskrit Bodhi back onto the Top 1000 for boys.

This year, the baby name possibilities introduced by Olympic athletes are more varied and fascinating than ever. Our picks for the dozen Olympic names most likely to make it to the baby names popularity list:

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Olympic Baby Names: The Flag Bearers

By Lauren Der

Carrying their country’s flag into the Olympics opening ceremony is a great honor for any athlete. Many of the bearers have won medals in previous Olympics and are hopefuls this time around again. Most are big stars in their home countries, some internationally—representing the US this year, for example, is swimming champ Michael Phelps.

Here are some of the more interestingly named flag bearers from other countries.

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posted by: Tiana Putric View all posts by this author

By Tiana Putric

The Boston Marathon, rooted in ancient Greek history, is the oldest modern annual marathon in the world: it was established in 1897 – 119 years ago! Taking place every year on Patriots’ Day, it falls this year on April 18th, when tens of thousands of marathoners from around the world will run while hundreds of thousands of spectators will watch, applaud, and shout words of encouragement.

Meet the interesting names of eight past Boston Marathon winners from Ellison Brown in the men’s open to Jacqueline Gareau in the women’s open to Marcel Hug and Edith Hunkeler in the men’s and women’s wheelchair division.

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posted by: Josh View all posts by this author

By Josh Murray

Spring is here, and along with it comes the arrival of the Major League Baseball season. All thirty clubs have left spring training behind in Arizona and Florida, and now the regular season has begun. While the big names associated with large contracts garner the most attention, there are a number of talented players whose entrance into sports fame could be right around the corner.

Below are some interesting names of baseball’s top prospects. These are players who may not be in the big leagues quite yet, but their talent has them knocking at the door. It wouldn’t be surprising to see some of these players make their major league debuts this season.

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