By Tiana Putric
Some describe extreme athletes as careless, reckless, and dangerous because their passion-driven sports expose them to unimaginable risks; others characterize them as being born with a ‘daredevil gene’. Here are six extreme athletes with bold names, from Loïc Jean–Albert to Rush Sturges, whose extraordinary in-air, on-cliff, in-water, and on-land feats will leave you awestruck.
Loïc Jean–Albert: Loïc is a wingsuit proximity flier who rather than steering clear of mountains soars towards them. Loïc says “We are risk junkies! It needs a lot of willpower to stop chasing the adrenaline.”
Loïc is a French name whose origins are debated. Some believe it is a French variation of Louis, meaning ‘famed warrior’, while others believe it is a form of Lucas. Although well loved in Belgium, Loïc has never entered the U.S. Top 1000 making it an extremely rare choice.
Espen Fadness: One of the world’s fastest flying humans, Espen is a death-defying air sportsman and freeride skier. When asked about plunging off high altitude cliffs Espen says “I’m terrified. I’ve just developed techniques and methods to cope with the fear.”
Laird, a Scottish title given to owners of large estates, is an uncommon regal name meaning ‘lord’ and ‘lord of the land’. Laird is both a first and last name and is pronounced ‘leyrd’ and sometimes ‘lord’. Spelling variations include Lairde, Layrd, and Layrde.
Wyn, a Welsh surname meaning ‘fair’ and ‘blessed’, brings to mind, of course, the victorious word ‘win’. Also spelt Wynn and Wynne, this strong appellation could be a nickname for male names Winston and Winthrop and for female names Winifred and Winslet.
Ueli Steck: Ueli, pronounced ‘oo-lee’ with a long ‘o’ sound, is a solo speed ice mountaineer who ascends and descends frozen waterfalls and glaciers using picks and ropes but no supplemental oxygen. He says, “It’s simple. You climb as fast as possible . . . If you make a mistake, you’re gonna’ die!”
Ueli is a Swiss name meaning ‘prosperity and power’. A diminutive of Ulrich, Ueli is a rarely heard moniker but one that shares its ‘lee’ ending with popular names Bradley, Charlie, Marley, and Riley.
Rush Sturges: Rush is a fearless big water charger who kayak-dives down near-vertical waterfalls and performs stunts in the rapids. “Probably the most common thing that people tell me is I’m crazy”, says Rush.
Rush is both a first name and a surname with English roots and means ‘dweller by the rushes’ and ‘red-haired’. Also a nature and place name, Rush is an adventurous one-syllable appellation that has not appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 since 1903, and is most commonly associated with Rush Limbaugh.
Here are a few other bold male appellations from the world of extreme sports:
Tao Berman (extreme kayaker)
Kilian Jornet Burgada (‘sky runner’)
Halldór Helgason (extreme snowboarder)
Nyjah Huston (extreme skateboarder)
Harley Ingleby (longboard surfrider)
Bjorn Leines (all-terrain snowboarder)
Reinhold Messner (extreme mountaineer)
Herbert Nitsch (world record deep freediver)
Trennon Paynter (freestyle skier)
When you think of ‘extreme’ boy names which monikers come to mind?
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