Swifter, Higher, Stronger, Stranger: The Ten Most Unique Olympic Names

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The 2012 Summer Olympics officially kick off today, and we could not be more excited. Not just for the games, but for the names! Ever since Picabo Street won gold at the 1998 Winter Games we’ve been obsessed with Olympians with wonderfully unique names. This year’s athletes do not disappoint, and we’ve rounded up the most awesome names of Team USA.

1. Abdihakem Abdirahman (Marathon) (Abdi – nickname)

816 people have this name, most concentrated in Minnesota.

2. Foluke Akinradewo (Volleyball)

Two people in the U.S. have this name of this All-American and multiple award winner.

3. Khatuna Lorig (Archery)

37 Americans share Khatuna’s name, however she’s the only one who trained Jennifer Lawrence for Hunger Games.

4. Nzingha Prescod (Women’s Fencing)

Just over 50 people share this Columbia University student’s first name.

5. Dagmara Wozniak (Women’s Fencing)

Fencing since the age of 9, this athlete’s last name means “city official”; 8,779 people have the the same name, with co-founder of Apple Steve Wozniak perhaps being the most well-known.

6. Mariya Koroleva (Synchronized Swimming)

3,981 other Americans share this synchronized swimmer’s name, a variation of Maria, with the most living in Washington.

7. Varvara Lepchenko (Women’s Tennis Singles)

The Greek version of “Barbara”, 251 other country(wo)men share this name, mainly in Alaska.

8. Hyleas Fountain (Heptathalon)

19,386 other Americans share this last name with the 5-time outdoor champion.

9. Meb Keflezighi (Men’s Marathon)

In 2009, he became the first American to win the New York City Marathon since 1982. Only 39 others in the U.S. share his name, mostly in Utah.

10. Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Women’s Volleyball)

One of seven people with this name, athletic excellence is in Tayyiba’s genes: her cousin Tari Phillips formerly played center with the WNBA New York Liberty.

by Rebecca Carroll

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