Robson Sharuko Senior Sports Editor
FIFTEEN years after using Athens to announce her arrival on the big stage with three Olympic medals, including a priceless gold, Kirsty Coventry has turned to an ancient Greek goddess for the name of her first child, Ella, who was born five days ago.
The newborn was introduced to the world yesterday.
Africa’s most decorated Olympian — who is also the Minister of Youth, Sport, Recreation and Culture — used Twitter yesterday to tell the world of the arrival of a new member of her family.
She posted the picture of her daughter saying she had never felt so much love for an individual.
‘‘I never thought I could love someone so much,’’ Kirsty posted on Twitter.
‘‘She has a daddy’s dimple.’’
Kirsty also revealed her daughter’s name, Ella, and revealed she was born last Friday.
Baby Ella arrived just three days before the latest royal baby, the first child of Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.
Kirsty has been married to Tyrone Seward since 2013. The name of her child will certainly spark interest given her enduring connections to Greece, the country where she first exploded on the grand stage of the Olympics where she became the first Zimbabwean athlete to win a medal, in an individual event, in history.
The Golden Girls of hockey had won gold at the 1980 Moscow Olympics in a team event.
In Greek mythology, according to Wikipedia, Ella was the daughter of Athamas, a Boetian King in ancient Greece, and is also linked to such names as Elizabeth and Eleanor.
It also refers to goddess in modern Hebrew and has become a very popular name, in the past decade, for baby girls born in Australia, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland and various English-speaking countries around the world.
And, those who believe in the power of names, say Ella is usually associated with ‘‘brunette with gorgeous eyes, she is a loyal friend and will always be there for you no matter what.
‘‘Can be insecure, but others see that she is beautiful inside and out, she has such a huge heart, Ella has a very bubbly personality and you can often spot her singing or dancing around.
‘‘She has a very vivid imagination and likes to dream big, sometimes her mind wanders and she becomes absorbed in her own little fantasy world.
‘‘She has a good sense of humour and can make you smile even on your worst days. Makes sure you are there for her the way she is for you, and even if she tries to push you away, don’t you ever give up on her.
‘‘Anyone would be lucky to have someone like her in their life.’’
And, Kirsty already feels that love.
Some of the most famous people who were given that name include Ella-Jane Fitzgerald, an American jazz singer, who used to be known as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz and Lady Ella.
The first female police chief of Detroit, Michigan, in the United States was also called Ella Bully-Cummings.
In Sri Lanka, Ella is also the name of a small picturesque town in the Badulla district of the Uva province, about 200km from Colombo, which attracts a huge number of tourists every year.
The Zimbabwe Olympic Committee congratulated Kirsty and her husband.
“We’re really excited to hear that your newest family member has arrived safe and sound! May you be blessed with lots of loving memories during this special time as new parents,’’ the ZOC said.
‘‘Wishing you all the very best #KirstyCoventry #FutureOlympian.’’
The Sports Commission also congratulated the new parents.
“Congratulations Hon Minister on the arrival of a new member of the family.”
Kirsty announced on April 16 that she had taken maternity leave saying it ‘‘had to start a little early but I will still be working hard to accomplish everything that needs to be done,’’ and two days later, on Independence Day, once again reiterated her love for her country.
‘‘I love #Zimbabwe and I will do what I can to create a @bettertoday for a #brightertomorrow but each of us has the same #responsibility. Don’t wait for someone else, #believe in yourself and do it.
‘‘I am #optimistic about our #future because I believe in you. I know that if each of us can put aside our differences and stop the divisive politics that is tearing us apart, then we can focus our energy on being #constructive.
‘‘God Bless each of us and God Bless our Zimbabwe.’’
And the congratulations for Kirsty and her husband have been pouring in on Twitter and these are just some of them: @zovia
‘‘Congratulations!!! Here’s hoping another Olympian has been added to our nation.’’ Barbara Chivandire
‘‘Congratulations Hon Minister and welcome to Baby Ella.’’ Duduzile Nyirongo
‘‘Congratulations Honourable.’’ Mary-Anne Musonda
‘‘Congrats!’’ Prince Emmanuel
‘‘I have send a proposal to the royal family to marry her to the newly born Prince.’’ Louis Cloete
‘‘Congratulations, Kirsty! You are SO blessed to welcome Ella into your family.’’ Diana Memory Matope
‘‘Ooooh my birthday-mate! That is so sweet! Congrats Tyrone and Kirsty for the arrival of your new ‘bundle of joy’!’’ Gerald Maguranyanga
‘‘Be blessed Baby Ella. Congratulations Tyrone and Kirsty.’’ Ronald Tatenda Magomo
‘‘Hon Minister. She is cute and besides having her Daddy’s dimple she will also have her Mom’s swimming touch!’’
Kirsty’s first international medal came in the 200m individual medley at the 2002 Commonwealth Games when she won gold and she also broke the world record in winning gold in the 200m backstroke at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, while also smashed the world record in the 200m backstroke at the 2009 World Championships.