Fannie’s Olympic Medalist List

Greetings funny names fans! I apologize for the brevity, I’m running up against some unexpected deadlines on the home front and I’m not as creative as Dave is under pressure.

Now that the Olympics have come to a close, let’s recap some of the more memorable names in Olympic History.

Michael Phelps photo courtesy of Agencia Brasil Fotografias

Michael Phelps photo courtesy of Agencia Brasil Fotografias

Even though Michael Phelps does not have a funny name, we have to give him a nod as the most decorated Olympic athlete with 31 medals to his name and because he talked about changing his kid’s diaper during an interview.

Larisa Latynina photo courtesy of

Larisa Latynina photo courtesy of

Followed up by Ukranian gymnast, Larisa Latynina with 18 Olympic medals. Anyway you spell it, she has a great name.

Paavo Nurmi at the Antwerp games in 1920.

Paavo Nurmi’s debut at the Antwerp games in 1920.



Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi is one of only 4 athletes to win 9 Olympic gold medals. He was associated with a team of Finnish athletes known as the “Flying Finns”. He was the first athlete in Olympic history to win five gold medals in a single game. His total medal count you ask, 12.

My personal favorite, American swimmer, Mark Spitz.

Mark Spitz swam with facial hair, because he could.

Mark Spitz swam with facial hair, because he could.

He swam with a fabulous mustache at a time when most swimmers removed excess hair. His record of 7 gold medals in one Olympic competition stood for 36 years until Michael Phelps broke the record in Beijing. He earned 11 medals. Incidentally, when he was 42 years old, he was paid $1 million as a promotional stunt to swim in an Olympic qualifier. He missed the cut by 3 seconds. Not bad when you consider he was still swimming as fast as he did when he was in his twenties. Maybe that’s where Dara Torres got the inspiration?

Sawao raised the gymnastic bar by using a trampoline to train.

Sawao raised the gymnastic bar by training on a trampoline.

And we’ll round out the count with Sawao Kato, gymnast, from Japan. He did for gymnastics what Michael Phelps did for swimming, earning 8 gold medals over the course of 3 Olympics. More than any other gymnast in Olympic history. Total medal count, 12.

Let’s call that a wrap. Or at least a short list.

Tracy – Fannie Cranium’s Guide to Irreverent Wisdom


About Fannie Cranium

Writing since she could first hold a pen, Tracy Perkins formed her alter ego, "Fannie Cranium" at the suggestion of her husband. Tracy understands smiling makes people wonder what she’s been up to.
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13 Responses to Fannie’s Olympic Medalist List

  1. Reblogged this on Fannie Cranium's and commented:

    This month’s contribution to the Blog of Funny Names. Olympic medalists, a short list.

  2. Mark Sackler says:

    The first dog Cheryl and I ever owned was a spitz. So, of course, it was referred to more than once as Mark’s Spitz.

  3. kerbey says:

    I was going to comment on the other people but I’m distracted by Spitz. A Selleckesque mustache always waylays me (oh, there’s a verb I rarely use!) and I can’t focus on anything but that. I’m sure he heard plenty of spitting in the pool jokes. So clever of him to harness the biblical truth that his hair held Samson-like power and could actually help propel him toward gold while his hairless competitors floated in his wake.

  4. Arto says:

    The gymnast from Ukraine has that distinguished Judi Dench thing going on. Though I can’t really see Judi Dench as a gymnast. Although, knowing her acting skills she could probably pull it off.

    Spitz – now that’s what a champ looks like.

  5. ksbeth says:

    i remember mark spitz and his mustache (and his speedo)!

  6. Dave says:

    Splendid stuff Fannie! You deserve a gold medal for your awesome consistency!

    Fun factoid: My dad swam against one of those legendary Olympic swimmers in college… I think it may have been Spitz but maybe it was another of those gold medal winners in men’s swimming. Pops was an All-American for a brief while.

    I bet Arto doesn’t think Paavo is a funny name. But it is! Paavo is a hilarious name! Those Finns are so generous with their vowels.

    If I’m not mistaken, Larissa Latynina was the top medal winner of all time until Phelps. And PHELPS IS A FUNNY NAME! Phelps Phelps Phelps. Say it enough times and it’s hard not to break a smile! And 31 medals is miraculously absurd! We’ve had the privilege to watch a once-in-a-lifetime talent recently. Go PHELPS! 🙂

    • “I’d like to thank the BoFN for this awesome award. (Fannie bows and holds the medal up to the audience.) I’ll be polishing up my “gold medal” and hanging it from the mantel.”

      “So Fannie, what are you going to do next?”

      “I’m going to Finland to learn how to pronounce Paavo Nurmi’s name. Because we at the BoFN will go to great lengths for a good name.”

      That’s really cool about your dad being a swimmer, and an All-American to boot.
      And as far as Larissa Latynina is concerned, you’re right she was displaced by Phelps. It didn’t dawn on me at the time I was “composing the post.”

      As far as Phelps, I’ve heard his name so much, it didn’t occur to me. Good catch.

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