A life that begins in small town in Idaho and speeds on to alpine ski racing and mountain-top weddings in Alabama is bound to catch our interest here at the Funny Names Blog. Lives that interesting can only be lived by people with funny names.
Such is the story of Picabo Street (pronounced “Pick-a-boo”). Picabo gave her fist wave to the world in a hospital room in Triumph, Idaho some 41 years ago. If you’re going to be named after a town in Idaho, Triumph is a good choice, but her parents went the other way and named her after nearby Picabo instead. It’s certainly way more fun to say so I will attempt to parse it into this here post as many times as possible. Picabo, Picabo, Picabo!
Her parents, Stubby and Dee Street, were self-described hippies and Picabo grew up on a small farm as a rebellious kid who wasn’t going to let anything stand on her way to glory. This is how she phrased it to ESPN :
You put a roadblock in front of me and I’m going to find a way to either get around it, over it, under it or plow right through it if I have to.
Initially, her parents settled on the imaginative, but hippie-appropriate name of Baby Girl, but happily changed their minds three years later. Being raised in a town of 50 people as the only girl among just 8 children made her tough and competitive. “Street-wise” Picabo carried that spirit into becoming “the greatest down-hill skier – male or female – in United States history.”
She won a gold medal at the 1998 Nagano Olympics to go with her silver from Lillehammer, Norway in 1994 and her World Championship success from 1996.
In 1998, she suffered a devastating injury which kept Picabo out of skiing for the better part of two years. Mere physical damage was not about to keep her from returning to the highest level though, and she competed in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics coming 16th in her event.
After her skiing career, Picabo had two children and named them gloriously. Her first son with her former partner goes by Treyjan James Pawley. She then married her current partner John Reeser atop a mountain in Alabama. Their son is called Dax Mayer Street Reeser, which is at least as fun as downhill ski racing must be.
If this piqued your interest, Picabo has written a book about her fascinating life, Picabo : Nothing to Hide. If you’ll excuse me, I believe I’ll go and browse it now and live vicariously through someone named Picabo.