How did Chemmy Alcott get her name?

British alpine skier Chemmy Alcott
Chemmy Alcott

Olympic skier Chimene “Chemmy” Alcott was born in London in 1982. (The ch in “Chimene” is pronounced like an sh, as in Charlotte.)

Chemmy told the story of her unusual first name to The Independent back in 2006. Here’s what she said:

My mother is tall with long dark hair, green eyes, very chiselled features, and everyone used to say that she looked like Sophia Loren. So she thought that maybe her daughter would, too, and I was named Chimene after the character Sophia Loren played in El Cid. That’s where it goes wrong. I’m blonde, kind of a bit on the rounder side, and I have blue eyes. I look nothing like Sophia Loren. But I like my name. I call myself Chemmy because people have trouble with Chimene, but maybe later in life it will, like, suit me more. I feel sorry for my mother. She used to teach at Lucy Clayton’s finishing school, and thought she’d have this girly girl. Instead, she gets a ski-racing adrenaline junkie.

Chemmy is currently competing at the Winter Games in Vancouver. I believe she has one or two more events to go, so you might still be able to catch her on TV.

Source: “Countdown to the Winter Olympics: Chemmy Alcott: ‘Every race I’m in I seem to make history’.” Independent 10 Feb. 2006.
Image: Adapted from Chemmy Alcott at the London Youth Games by London Youth Games Ltd under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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