With parents often looking to popular culture for baby name ideas, it’s not surprising that some expectant mums and dads are turning to the 2016 Olympics for inspiration.
Laura Wattenberg, from Baby Name Wizard, told USA TODAY that more and more parents are looking for names with meaning, not just options that have a nice sound to them.
“In recent times parents have liked to search for a meaning, or something inspirational, in the names they give their children. They want to be able to tell their children a story and not just give them a name that’s nothing more than a collection of letters,” she explained.
Wattenberg says that the success of the United States’ Simone Biles in gymnastics and the UK’s Simone Manuel in swimming will no doubt inspire a surge in the number of new parents choosing that name for their baby.
“With a pair of athletes who are not only successful, but seen as great role models – combined with a softer sound – it is like hitting the jackpot,” she said.
In the US, the name Simone was at its most popular in 1988, when it was ranked 310th. The name has fallen in popularity recently, appearing as the 821st most used female name in 2015.
“That is definitely going to change,” Wattenberg said.
Julia Wang, head of digital content for pregnancy and parenting site The Bump, agrees.
“Millennial parents are looking for something different to a long-standing traditional name,” she said.
“When we see cultural phenomenon that affect the world stage it subconsciously affects parents. Simone Biles and Simone Manuel fit that category very strongly.”
Ron Biles, the father of the gymnastics superstar who has been one of the stand-out stars of the Rio Games, had a short and simple response when asked how he would feel about fans naming newborn girls after his daughter.
“It would make me smile,” he said.