Seychellois athlete with amusing name gets people talking the world over
When one of the top distance runners from the Seychelles toed the line for the 800m heats this morning at the IAAF World Indoor Championships, little did he know that he would become the biggest talking point of the event so far.
The reason? His name is ‘Gaylord Silly’ – an unfortunate moniker that could only be made worse if the names were the other way around. But as it was, it set the twittersphere alight and he became a trending topic – a more talked-about subject than Britain’s Jessica Ennis, who won pentathlon silver in Istanbul.
But this wasn’t Silly’s debut appearance at a major championships, and his name has previously been the subject of a few giggles among AW staff. Silly – a tree surgeon based in France – is more accustomed to longer distances, having competed at the 2009 World Half-marathon Championships and three editions of the World Cross.
Of course it is not the first time that funny names have been the subject of athletics headlines. Covering the clash between US sprinters Tyson Gay and Walter Dix, the Reuters report for the 2010 Prefontaine Classic ran the headline: “Tired Gay succumbs to Dix”.
And then there was lane draw for the women’s 400m semi-finals at the 1986 European Championships, which saw the following order:
I kid you not.
But in a sport with such a sheer number of competitors worldwide, Gaylord Silly is not the only international athlete with an amusing name. Some other classics include:
Hungarian sprinter who competed at the 2010 World Junior Championships
Steeplechaser from Japan, who made the 2001 World Youth final.
Korean record-holder in the pole vault
South African distance runner
American distance runner
Swiss middle-distance runner who competed in the 2008 European Champion Clubs Cup
Finnish record-holder in the triple jump.
Anguillan record-holder in the 100m.
Former Asian junior champion over 3000m.
South African distance runner who finished third at the Boston Marathon in 1999.