Dear Diary,


I could probably win a gold medal for playing the name game.  From conception, I selected the name Caitlynn for my daughter-to-be.  If she was a he, I was leaning toward Chase or Grayson.  Despite my gut instinct, from February until July, I searched baby name books, websites and online forums.  I came up with a laundry list of alternatives: Chloe, Claire, Farah, Harper, Makayla, Riley, Sadie, Sienna and Zara.  My middle school students even offered up suggestions, mostly after celebrities or cars.  But in the end, I went with my heart.  Although it’s a common name, it has an uncommon spelling after my middle name Lynn.


When I announced her name to family and friends, they would report to me when they met a Caitlynn in person or heard her name on TV.  So, when the Olympic coverage aired, I got a few phone calls asking if we were cheering on American swimmer Caitlin Leverenz.   As a first time mom, I now tuned in not only for the events but for the names as well.  I made a mental note of cute and cool names for my future little champions.  Recently, Huffington Post searched Nameberry’s Olympic baby names back to 1896 and published the most unusual and interesting past Gold Medalists’ names.


Would you name your child something from this list?  How about  Aoyun?  Well, over 4,000 babies in China have been named Aoyun, which literally translates to Olympic Games. The name became popular when China applied to host the Olympic Games back in 1992.  It’s a pretty popular practice in China to name children after an event.



Annegret Richter — West Germany, track and field, 1972

Antonella Bellutti — Italy, racing cyclist, 1996

Beezie Madden (born Elizabeth) -– US, equestrian show jumping team, 2008

Clover Maitland -– Australia, field hockey, 1996 and 2000

Ellina Zvereva -– Belarus, discus throwing, 2000

Faustine Merret — France, windsurfing, 2004

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

Maritza Martén –- Cuba, discus throwing, 1992

Mildrette Netter — US, track and field, 1968

Oksana Baiul — Ukraine, figure skating, 1994 (at age 16)

Ondina Valla -– Italy, track and field, 1936

Petra Felke -– East Germany, javelin throw, 1988

Picabo Street -– US, ski racing, 1998

Rhi (Rhiannon) Jeffrey — US, swimming, 2004

Sanya Richards — US, track and field, 2004 and 2008

Savatheda Fynos — Bahamas, track and field, 2000

Séverine Vandenhende — France, judo, 2000

Sonja Henie — ice skating, Norway, 1928, 1932, 1936 — became a movie star

Susi Susanti (born Lucia) — Indonesia, badminton, 1992

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



Apolo Anton Ohno — US, speed skating, 2002 and 2006

Bevil Rudd — South Africa, track and field, 1920

Bode Miller (born Samuel Bode) — US, ski racing, 2010

Bruny Sorin — Canada, track and field, 1996

Cael Sanderson — US, wrestling, 2004

Commodore Cochran—US, track and field, 1924

Daley Johnson — (born Francis), UK, decathlon, 1980, 1984

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

Foy Draper — US, track and field, 1936

Gaston Reiff — Belgium, track and field, 1948

Gillis Grafström — Sweden, figure skating, 1920, 1924, 1928

Guinn Smith (born Owen Guinn) — US, pole vault, 1948

Harri Larva (born Harry) — Finland, track and field–28

Ilia Kulik — Russia figure skating, 1998

Ilmari Salminen — Finland, track and field, 1936

Ingo Weissenborn — Germany, fencing, 1992

Ivano Brugnetti — Italy, race walking, 2004

Jaak Uudmae — Estonia, long jump, 1980

Jacobus ”Jim” Thorpe — US–decathlon, 1912

Jasey-Jay Anderson — Canada, snowboarding, 2010

Josy Barthel (born Joseph) — Luxembourg, track and field, 1952

Kiko Sanchez (born Francis) — Spain, sailing, 1992

Livio Berruti — Italy, track and field, 1960

Lones Wigger -– US, shooting, 1965

Maurizio Damiliano — Italy, race walking, 1980

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

Parry O’Brien — US, shot put, 1952, 1956

Rafer Johnson — US, decathlon, 1960

Sabin Carr — US, pole vault, 1927

Spyridon Louis — Greek, marathon, 1896 (first modern day Olympic marathon)

Tamio Kono –- US, weight lifting, 1952, 1956

Thane Baker (born Walter Thane) –- US, track and field, 1956

Usain Bolt — Jamaica, track and field, 2008

Xeno Müller — Swiss, rowing, 1996

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.