Published On: Mon, Aug 22nd, 2016

The 10 best names of Rio 2016

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More than 11,545 athletes came to Rio to compete in the Olympics, and some of them will be remembered for more than just their Olympic achievements.

Plenty of Olympians have creative parents who blessed them with unforgettable monikers at birth.

Here are the 10 best names of Rio 2016:

Steele Johnson


If the American diver’s Olympic career ever hits a snag, he could have a future in the adult film industry.

The 20-year-old captured a silver medal along with David Boudia in the men’s synchronized 10m platform event, so maybe he doesn’t need to find another vocation.

William Speed Lane Fox-Pitt


Yes, that’s his full name. The eldest son of William Oliver Lane Fox-Pitt and Marietta Speed was clearly fortunate to be born into this family, and if that wasn’t enough, he gets to ride horses and teach them to dance.

Fox-Pitt earned a silver medal in both Athens and London, and took home bronze in Beijing. He and his horse, Chilli Morning, were shut out in Rio, but he’ll always have his amazing name.

English Gardner


No, she isn’t a British horticulture enthusiast. This Gardner is an American track athlete who helped the U.S. win gold in the 4x100m relay, defending their title from London 2012.

Sparkle McKnight


The 400m hurdles specialist from Trinidad and Tobago didn’t exactly shine at Rio 2016, posting the 30th-fastest time in the heats and failing to qualify for the final.

Deuce Carter


The Jamaican hurdler qualified for the 100m semifinals, but couldn’t squeeze out a spot in the final.

Domonic Bedggood


This Australian diver’s surname is a built-in pick-up line, as long as no one asks about his Olympic performance.

In all seriousness, Bedggood is an inspiring story, beginning his career as a gymnast before breaking his back and turning to the sport of diving.

He won gold with Matthew Micham in the 10m synchronized final at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and claimed bronze with Melissa Wu in the mixed 10m synchronized event at the 2015 World Championships.

Emily Batty


The Canadian cyclist’s surname is appropriate for someone in her line of work, considering she flies across mountain bike courses like a certain nocturnal mammal, and anyone would have to be a bit batty to do so.

She finished two seconds behind teammate and bronze medalist Catharine Pendrel in the cross-country event.

Virginia Thrasher


Speaking of athletes with animal surnames, this American shooter won gold in the women’s 10m air rifle event at Rio 2016.

The thrasher is Georgia’s state bird, but Virginia Thrasher is a Virginia native.

Blessing Okagbare


One of two Nigerian Blessings at Rio 2016 (the other being wrestler Blessing Oburududu), Okagbare failed to medal in these Olympics.

The 27-year-old had success on the international stage beforehand, claiming long jump bronze in Beijing, two golds (100m and 200m) at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and a pair of medals at the 2013 World Championships.

Alyxandria Treasure


The Canadian high jumper has a great surname and her parents get bonus points for the creative spelling of her first name.

Her Olympic performance left something to be desired, but she’s only 24, so there could always be a treasure chest of medals on the horizon.

All photos courtesy Action Images



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