Simone Manuel and Simone Biles have put the name "Simone" in the spotlight

By Dave Quinn
August 12, 2016 02:45 PM
Source Twitter

It’s good to be a Simone.

Both United States Olympians competing in the 2016 Summer Olympics named Simone won gold this year – putting the name in the spotlight.

Simone Biles was the first to make headlines. The 19-year-old gymnast earned two gold medals at the Rio Games – as the women’s gymnastics all-around champion on Thursday and as one-fifth of the Final Five during the team all-arounds earlier this week.

Swimmer Simone Manuel was up next. The 20-year-old made history Thursday as the first African-American woman to win an individual event in Olympic swimming – tying for the gold in the 100-meter freestyle event.

Soon, Twitter picked up on the common name of the two winners – some even wondering there will be more kids named Simone moving forward.

Another pointed out that both of the gold-winning greats hail from Houston, Texas.

The name Simone – a female derivative of Simon – comes from Hebrew, where it can be translated as “one who hears” or “God had heard.” It’s French translation, where it gets its spelling, reads as “To be heard.”

It made its first appearance in 10th century Lberia, as Jimena and Ximena. A famous bearer of the name was Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), a French feminist and philosopher.

According to U.S. Social Security Administration data, only 340 baby girls were named Simone in 2015 – ranking it roughly 821st in the country.

Of course, not all Simones at the Rio Olympics have been successful.

Italy’s got six – Simone Sabbioni, Simone Ruffini and Simone Consonni, Simone Venier, Simone Buti, Simone Giannelli – none of whom have claimed gold yet.

Simone Laudehr (Germany), Simone Facey (Jamacia) and Simone Christensen (Denmark) are the other Simones in Rio Olympics. No medals from them yet either.

And that’s not even taking into consideration the 27 Simons who qualified for the games. Or Lithuanian swimmer Simonas Bilis.

But with over 11,000 athletes competing in the Rio Olympics, the two Simones are in a league all their own.

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