Olympics 2012: Baby Names Inspired by Gold Medalists

The 2012 Olympics in London, England are nearing a close and many of us have been stuck to our television sets watching these amazing athletes. What an inspiration they are to parents and children around the world.

Watching these young adults push themselves with complete determination as they live their dreams — while their parents watch from the sidelines — is enough to move any parent to tears. Behind many of these athletes are moms and dads whose dreams were just as big as their children’s. Driving them to practice at all hours, encouraging them, guiding them, wishing them nothing but success.

On the flip side, young children are watching these athletes, children who may have the same dream to one day compete for the gold medal. Regardless of which angle you take, the Olympics and the athletes who compete in these games inspire, which is why I wanted to put together a list of some of the gold medalists from the past, champions whose unique names may be of inspiration to you as you choose a name for your baby.


Aaron Peirsol – United States, Swimming, 2000, 2008

André Lange – Germany, Bobsleigh, 2002-2010

Anton Heida – United States, Gymnastics 1904

Apolo Anton Ohno – United States, Speed Skating, 2002 and 2006

Bevil Rudd — South Africa, Track and Field, 1920

Bode Miller (born Samuel Bode) – United States, Ski Racing, 2010

Cael Sanderson – United States, Wrestling, 2004

Commodore Cochran – United States, Track and Field, 1924

Gaston Reiff – Belgium, Track and Field, 1948

Jean-Claude Killy – France, Alpine Skiing, 1968

Lucien Gaudin – France, Fencing, 1920-1928

Marc Gagnon – Canada, Short Track Speed Skating, 1994-2002

Maurizio Damiliano – Italy, Race Walking, 1980

Nikolai Andrianov – Soviet Union, Gymnastics, 1972-1980

Parry O’Brien – United States, Shot Put, 1952-1956

Paulo Radmilovic – Great Britain, Water Polo, Swimming, 1908-1920

Ray Ewry – United States, Athletics, 1900-1908

Romeo Neri – Italy, Gymnastics, 1928-1932

Simon Amman – Switzerland, Ski Jumping, 2002-2010

Spyridon Louis – Greek, Marathon, 1896

Tamás Molnár – Hungary, Water Polo, 2000-2008

Thane Baker – United States, Track and Field, 1956

Willis A. Lee – United States, Shooting, 1920

Xeno Müller – Switzerland, Rowing, 1996

Yukio Endo – Japan, Gymnastics, 1960-1968


Birgit Fischer – Germany, Canoeing, 1980-2004

Catalina Ponor – Romania, Gymnastics, 2004-2012

Clover Maitland – Australia, Field Hockey, 1996-2000

Dara Torres – United States, Swimming, 1984-2008

Elena Novikova-Belova – Soviet Union, Fencing, 1968-1976

Fleur Mellor – Australia, Track and Field, 1956

Janica Kostelic – Croatia, Alpine Skiing, 2002

Jayna Hefford – Canada, Ice Hockey, 1998-2012

Larisa Latynina – Soviet Union, Gymnastics, 1956 & 1964

Leisel Jones – Australia, Swimming, 2000-2012

Liliya Nuritdinova – Unified Team, Track and Field, 1992

Mireya Luis – Cuba, Volleyball, 1992-2000

Misty May-Treanor – United States, Volleyball, 2004-2012

Nadia Comăneci – Romania, Gymnastics, 1976-1980

Oksana Baiul – Ukraine, Figure Skating, 1994

Raisa Smetanina – Soviet Union, 1976-1992

Rhi (Rhiannon) Jeffrey – United States, Swimming, 2004

Serena Williams – United States, Tennis, 2000-2012

Séverine Vandenhende – France, Judo, 2000

Tatyana Kazankina – Soviet Union, Athletics, 1976-1980

Valentina Vezzali – Italy, Fencing, 1996-2012

Venus Williams – United States, Tennis, 2000-2012

Věra Čáslavská – Czechoslovakia, Gymnastics, 1960-1968

Wyomia Tyus – United States, Track and Field, 1968

Xenia Stad-de-Jong – Netherlands, Track and Field, 1948

Do any of these names stand out as contenders for baby names? Are there any other gold medalist winners that you would add to the list?

Photo Credit: Flickr – by mac_ivan

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