Welcome to the 2016 Rio Olympics edition of The Blog of Funny Names. Today we showcase siblings Diego and Daniele Hypólito, shown here, discussing the merits of having a hometown advantage this year in Brazil. Both are gymnasts, competing for the gold.
A physician might see the prefix hypo and conclude that these two are “below normal” litos. But that is not the case. And don’t confuse them with other hippos like Hippolytus Guarinonius, noted physician and polymath. Isn’t that a fun word? It’s not actually a teacher of many maths; it’s more of a Renaissance man, one who has knowledge of broad subjects. And speaking of broad subjects…
Perhaps, like me, the accented Hypólito surname brings to mind a baby hippo.
While this is not altogether unpleasant, it is inaccurate. Neither sibling resembles a hippo in any way. But looks can be deceiving. While Daniele looks young, she will turn 32 (egads, man!) in September. Compare this to the fact that the average age of U.S. women’s gymnastics teams has hovered around age 16. In effect, Daniele is not only a double Hypólito sibling, but double the age of her competition. But that just makes her a seasoned athlete; Daniele competed in the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. Added to the fact that she has trained in Rio de Janeiro all of her life, the odds are ever in her favor.
Just last March, Daniele traveled to Jesolo, Italy to compete at the 2016 City of Jesolo Trophy, where she helped the Brazilian team place 2nd and individually placed 20th All Around.
Brother Diego is also in his dirty 30s, having just entered the decade in June. He competes this Saturday in events such as pommel horse, vault, and rings. And don’t worry about Diego catching the Zika virus, a major concern in Rio. He contracted dengue fever, a mosquito-borne tropical disease, in 2008 but was able to recover just in time to compete at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He’s not going out like that, you can bet.
If you can’t catch Diego on Saturday, be sure to stay tuned for Sunday’s women’s gymnastics. Perhaps sister Daniele will score an individual all-around again!