Olympic Baby Names: Gold medal winners of the past
Nameberry’s Olympic baby names coverage continues, this time with a look back to Games of the past. We perused the records going back to 1896, in search of the most unusual and interesting of past Gold Medalists’ names.
With such a wide-ranging international roster, we were able to mine some pretty exotic (in our culture, anyway) nuggets. Girls
Annegret Richter—West Germany, track and field, 1972
Clover Maitland– Australia, field hockey, 1996 and 2000
Ellina Zvereva– Belarus, discus throwing, 2000
Fernanda Ribeiro—Portugal, 10,000 meter race (established a new record), 1996
Fleur Mellor—Australia, track and field, 1956
Janica Kostelic–Croatia, Alpine skiing, 2002
Jearl Miles–US, track and field, 1996 and 2000
Liliya Nuritdinova–Unified Team, track and field, 1992
Margitta Gummel—East Germany, shot put, 1968
Mildrette Netter–US, track and field, 1968
Oksana Baiul—Ukraine, figure skating, 1994 (at age 16)
Savatheda Fynos—Bahamas, track and field, 2000
Séverine Vandenhende—France, judo, 2000
Tenley Albright—US, figure skating, 1956
Torah Bright—Australia, snowboarding, 2010
Viorica Viscopoleanu– Roumania, long jump, 1968
Wyomia Tyus—US—track and field, 1968
Xenia Stad-de-Jong—Netherlands, track and field, 1948
Danyon Loader—New Zealand, swimming, 1996
Delfo Cabrera—Argentina, marathon racer, 1948
Duke Kahanamoku–Hawaii, swimming, 1912, 1920 (he was named not for Hawaiian royalty, but after his father who had been christened “Duke” following the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh to Hawaii in 1869).
Eero Lehtonen—Finland, pentathlon, 1920 and 1924
Gaston Reiff—Belgium, track and field, 1948
Ilmari Salminen—Finland, track and field, 1936
Ingo Weissenborn—Germany, fencing, 1992
Ivano Brugnetti—Italy, race walking, 2004
Jaak Uudmae—Estonia, long jump, 1980
Livio Berruti—Italy, track and field, 1960
Lones Wigger–US, shooting, 1965
Mikio Oda—Japan, triple jump, 1928
Million Wolde—Ethiopia, track and field, 2000
Ollan Cassell—US, track and field, 1964
Paavo Nuirmi—Finland, track and field, 1920, 1924, 1928
Sabin Carr—US, pole vault, 1927
Spyridon Louis—Greek, marathon, 1896 (first modern day Olympic marathon)
Tamio Kono–US, weight lifting, 1952, 1956
Usain Bolt–Jamaica, track and field, 2008
Xeno Müller—Swiss, rowing, 1996
Any names here that were unfamiliar to you but that you might consider? Any others that you’d like to add to the list?–remember Gold Medalists only.
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on July 30th, 2012 at 11:28 pm
Loving Jacobus, Sonja and Ellina
on July 31st, 2012 at 1:26 am
One of my best friends is named Liliya, of course everyone calls her Lily though, but I like saying her given name.
Lots of good ones on the list!
on July 31st, 2012 at 1:38 am
I would consider Annegret,Liliya, Petra and Sonja for a girl. Liliya is very lovely, which is surprising because I usually don’t like names that look like the y was added. I love Sonya and Annegret.
I have never encountered a Mildrette before. That is an interesting name. I don’t know what I think about it. Commodore is definitely a strange name, but he is probably the type of person that can pull that name off well.
on July 31st, 2012 at 6:55 am
I love the sound of Maritzam just sounds beautiful. Torah is Interesting but isnt it the same thing as naming a child Bible?
on July 31st, 2012 at 6:55 am
That should say Martiza..dont know where that M came from lol
on July 31st, 2012 at 7:58 am
Ellina, Fleur, Petra, and Sonya are ones that I would consider using for a daughter, although I find Oksana and Clover equally appealing.
My faves from the boys list are: Apolo, Daley, Harry, and Parry. Livio and Ingo are intriguing.
Also, Jasey-Jay and Mildrette… really?
on July 31st, 2012 at 7:59 am
@bex.marie: Liliya is so beautiful!
on July 31st, 2012 at 7:31 pm
I love Annegret and Margitta for middle names. I love Savatheda but wouldn’t use it myself.
And Finnish names are inherently cool with all their double vowels – would love to find one that translated well into english without losing its panache. How is Eero pronounced? Like arrow or ear-ro?
on July 31st, 2012 at 7:33 pm
And of course I love Petra (my daughter’s name). Sadly we were **this** close to naking our puppy Clover, so that name has gone to the dogs…and no longer usable by me for little human but love it on other girls or even boys.
on August 1st, 2012 at 10:02 am
And now we can add the names of U.S. gymnasts Kyla, McKayla, and Jordyn to the list. So interesting to see this generation of trendy/nouveau/invented names coming of age. Wondering what people in other countries think of these names? Wondering if these names will have any staying power because of these beautiful young athletes?
on August 2nd, 2012 at 9:52 am
Wow, I never would have pegged Tenley as a name from 1956!
I also think Severine has such a nice sound. But too close to “sever” for the U.S.
on August 3rd, 2012 at 1:17 pm
Daley’s surname is Thompson, not Johnson.
Beezie though is an interesting nickname for Elizabeth, never heard it before but quite like it.
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