Celebrity Names Blog

Olympic Games Name: Apolo Ohno

Olympic Games Name: Apolo Ohno
Photo Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin.com

Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno won the silver medal in last night's speed skating event at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, matching Bonnie Blair for the title of  most decorated winter Olympian.  In addition to being the most-decorated, best-known athlete in these Olympics (in addition to his two previous Olympic games, Ohno made headlines when he won the televised dance competition Dancing With the Stars in 2007), Ohno also has the most distinctive name.

As one poster over on the BabyNameWizard.com boards noted: "Is there a better name for an Olympic athlete than Apolo Ohno? it's like his dad somehow knew he was going to be an incredible athlete." To which, another poster responded: " I know. it's like he thought, "i have a hunch my son is going to be a superstar skater, so what name can i give him that is the aurel equivalent of 'i'm awesome'?""

And it's true, when we hear the name Apolo, we think of another Olympian -- the Greek god Apollo. One of the twelve major deities of Greek mytholgy, Apollo is most commonly known as the god of light, though is he also considered the god of music, poetry, prophecy and medicine. Even among gods, Apollo was awesome.

However, despite the matching sound, Apolo Ohno was not named for the Greek god Apollo.  According to the official Web site of the U.S. skating team, Ohno's father created the name Apolo by combining the Greek words "Ap," which means to "steer away from" and "lo," which means "look out; here he comes."

And this Olympics, we are hearing the speed skater referred to by his full name -- middle name included, Apolo Anton Ohno. Anton, aptly enough. means "priceless."

What do you think of this Olympic name?  What are some of your favorite names from this Olympics or previous Olympics?

--J.B.

Comments

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February 17, 2010 7:29 PM
By Zoerhenne (not verified)

Cool-things we didn't know we wanted to know!

February 18, 2010 1:39 AM
By Ashlee (not verified)

Maelle, the Canadian Snowboarding Cross Gold medalist

February 19, 2010 4:59 PM
By Stephanie (not verified)

I have been an Apolo Anton Ohno fan for a long time- he grew up in the same general area that I did,and my brother speed skated for a while. By the way, in his first Olympics at Salt Lake he always went by his full 3 names. Interesting to know where his name was inspired from, though. I have to say that the 2 best names I have heard for this Winter Olympics outside of Apolo is the Australian snowboarder Torah (not sure what her last name is) and the Canadian skiier Maelle (again, the last name doesn't stick with me). The Winter Olympics are my favorite, so been watching a lot.

February 21, 2010 9:41 PM
By PJR (not verified)

The Aussie snowboarder's full name is Torah Bright. Could it be any better?

Maelle's last name is Ricker, not quite so great but easy to spell and say, unlike her first name!

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