50 Baby Names Inspired by Olympic Gold Medalists

As the 2012 Olympics are nearing a close, 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.

Boys

  1. Aaron Peirsol – United States, Swimming, 2000, 2008
  2. André Lange – Germany, Bobsleigh, 2002-2010
  3. Anton Heida – United States, Gymnastics 1904
  4. Apolo Anton Ohno – United States, Speed Skating, 2002 and 2006
  5. Bevil Rudd — South Africa, Track and Field, 1920
  6. Bode Miller (born Samuel Bode) – United States, Ski Racing, 2010
  7. Cael Sanderson – United States, Wrestling, 2004
  8. Commodore Cochran – United States, Track and Field, 1924
  9. Gaston Reiff – Belgium, Track and Field, 1948
  10. Jean-Claude Killy – France, Alpine Skiing, 1968
  11. Lucien Gaudin – France, Fencing, 1920-1928
  12. Marc Gagnon – Canada, Short Track Speed Skating, 1994-2002
  13. Maurizio Damiliano – Italy, Race Walking, 1980
  14. Nikolai Andrianov – Soviet Union, Gymnastics, 1972-1980
  15. Parry O’Brien – United States, Shot Put, 1952-1956
  16. Paulo Radmilovic – Great Britain, Water Polo, Swimming, 1908-1920
  17. Ray Ewry – United States, Athletics, 1900-1908
  18. Romeo Neri – Italy, Gymnastics, 1928-1932
  19. Simon Amman – Switzerland, Ski Jumping, 2002-2010
  20. Spyridon Louis – Greek, Marathon, 1896
  21. Tamás Molnár – Hungary, Water Polo, 2000-2008
  22. Thane Baker – United States, Track and Field, 1956
  23. Willis A. Lee – United States, Shooting, 1920
  24. Xeno Müller – Switzerland, Rowing, 1996
  25. Yukio Endo – Japan, Gymnastics, 1960-1968

Girls

  1. Birgit Fischer – Germany, Canoeing, 1980-2004
  2. Catalina Ponor – Romania, Gymnastics, 2004-2012
  3. Clover Maitland – Australia, Field Hockey, 1996-2000
  4. Dara Torres – United States, Swimming, 1984-2008
  5. Elena Novikova-Belova – Soviet Union, Fencing, 1968-1976
  6. Fleur Mellor – Australia, Track and Field, 1956
  7. Janica Kostelic – Croatia, Alpine Skiing, 2002
  8. Jayna Hefford – Canada, Ice Hockey, 1998-2012
  9. Larisa Latynina – Soviet Union, Gymnastics, 1956 & 1964
  10. Leisel Jones – Australia, Swimming, 2000-2012
  11. Liliya Nuritdinova – Unified Team, Track and Field, 1992
  12. Mireya Luis – Cuba, Volleyball, 1992-2000
  13. Misty May-Treanor – United States, Volleyball, 2004-2012
  14. Nadia Comăneci – Romania, Gymnastics, 1976-1980
  15. Oksana Baiul – Ukraine, Figure Skating, 1994
  16. Raisa Smetanina – Soviet Union, 1976-1992
  17. Rhi (Rhiannon) Jeffrey – United States, Swimming, 2004
  18. Serena Williams – United States, Tennis, 2000-2012
  19. Séverine Vandenhende – France, Judo, 2000
  20. Tatyana Kazankina – Soviet Union, Athletics, 1976-1980
  21. Valentina Vezzali – Italy, Fencing, 1996-2012
  22. Venus Williams – United States, Tennis, 2000-2012
  23. Věra Čáslavská – Czechoslovakia, Gymnastics, 1960-1968
  24. Wyomia Tyus – United States, Track and Field, 1968
  25. 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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