While many of you may have grown up playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Underground video games, my favourite in the franchise was actually the 2006 release of Tony Hawk’s Project 8.
The premise of the game was relatively simple: increase your clout and abilities to be named as one of the 8 people on Tony Hawk’s skating team, starting from the 200th ranked skater in the world. By completing challenges and goals, you were able to raise your personal stock and popularity, and, if you’re lucky, eventually end up as the #1 ranked skater. Though it is not the only game or storyline of its kind, it is the one I chose, so let’s just move on.
Now imagine a similar list, but instead of trying to be the best skateboarder in the world, you’re trying to become the most famous person named Dmytro. For starters, most, if not all of the readers on this website would suffer an immediate disqualification, as they are not named Dmytro. In fact, people named Dmytro with origins of any of the 193 UN member states that are NOT Ukraine seem to be non-existent. As you can see below, it doesn’t even show up in the BabyNames.com database.
My curiosity in this topic came from the idea that, well, I’ve only ever heard of one person named Dmytro. The name is derived from the Greek Demetrios, with the same root as similar names like Dmitri, Demitri, or Dimitri.
Simply put, it’s a kick-ass name.
The protagonist in our real-life story here is of course a 22-year old winger from Kirovograd, Ukraine: The Toronto Maple Leafs’ own Dmytro Timashov. While he’s yet to play a regular season game in the NHL, today’s lineup news shows he might get a shot on the fourth line to start the season.
Needing to clear waivers if the Leafs would like to send him back to the AHL, the time might be now to see if he can translate his 49 AHL points from last season into something of value for the Leafs.
But for the purposes of this article, his hockey playing talents do not matter: just whether or not he can become the most famous person in the world named Dmytro.
Various Twitter and Instagram Searches
If you click on the Wikipedia list, 51 people named pop up (as well as one Voivode Dmytro). You’ll find a mix of politicians, military personnel, athletes, and authors: just about the typical mix of people you’d expect to see on such a list.
Timashov himself is not on the list, as of publishing, which came as a bit of a surprise to me. (If you’d like to change that, go ahead.)
The current big time Dmytros
I’ve whittled it down to five contenders for the most successful and famous Dmytros out there. Please note: these are entirely subjective and I could be completely wrong.
While stories such as Dmytro Hunia, who was elected hetman of the Zaporozhian Host in 1638, and Dmytro Antonovych, who was director of the Ukrainian Studio of Plastic Arts for over 20 years, are intriguing, their relevancy today is rather nonexistent. We don’t foresee a @DmytroHuniaStanAccount picking up millions of followers, so let’s just consider them out of contention.
Dmytro Kuleba, he of 37.8k twitter followers AND a Blue checkmark. Awarded the best Ukrainian ambassador of the Year 2017 by The Institute of World Politics, his bio, put into Google Translate, reads as follows: Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine. A diplomat in various forms over the past 16 years, Kuleba appears to have the largest social following of any Dmytro I could find.
Dmytro Hnatyuk, an opera singer and politician who passed away in 2016 at the age of 91. One of few Dmytros born outside of Ukraine (in Romania), Hnatyuk won several awards during his musical career, including the “Hero of Ukraine” award, which is the highest award one can win in that country and similar to an Order of Canada. Though a bit of a dark horse, perhaps one of his vocals gets sampled by Diplo or something.
Dmytro Firtash, a businessman and current inmate due to his connection to US political consultant and former chairman of the Donald Trump campaign Paul Manafort. There are many headlines over the last few years with Firtash’s name, and it’s always possible that he is once again in the forefront of some sort of investigation.
Dmytro Tabachnyk, a former politician and current fugitive on charges of embezzlement. Still on the run, Tabachnyk’s Wikipedia page is one of many misdeeds. While nothing really changes if he stays on the run, perhaps an interesting development in his capture could see his DmytroStock on the rise.
Dmytro Shurov, a musician and judge on Ukrainian X-Factor. A vocalist as well as a keyboard player in the aptly named Pianoбой, or Pianoboy, in English. Their latest track, Перша Леді (First Lady), is below and has already surpassed 1 million views within the three weeks it was posted.
(Note: The first result on google about a person named Dmytro is about war criminal Dmytro Klyachkivsky, who ordered the genocide of the Polish population in the region of Volhynia. However, he has been excluded from this list for moral reasons, and having been dead for over 70 years now, is unlikely to gain any significant traction as a popular figure.)
How popular is Timashov himself among Dmytros?
Simply making one of the world’s most well-known hockey teams should do wonders for young Timashov. But as of right now, he is just a speck on the list of Dmytros worldwide, barely gaining much of a following anywhere. Through the first two pages of google for a search of Dmytro, nothing comes up.
On the third page of google, we get our first hockey player. But it is not the boy himself: it is Dmytro Gnitko, an 18-year old who seems to be stumbling around various junior leagues. For whatever reason, he’s got better Google results than Timashov.
On the fourth page of google, we finally see Timashov’s name pop up in forms of both his Elite prospects and HockeyDB page.
On Twitter, Timashov has just under 5k followers at the time of writing, still a far cry off from Kuleba.
On instagram, he’s at just over 9k followers, but fitness model/ bodybuilder/ general hot guy Dmytro Horobets is beating him out with over 24k followers on his page.
The biggest knock on Timashov is that while he was born in Ukraine, he later moved to and represented Sweden internationally. So it’s tough to tell if there’s any civic pride in his homeland about this particular Dmytro.
So to answer this subheading’s question: he’s still got a ways to go.
The Leafs have the most famous Auston in the world, and probably the most famous Kasperi. If you search either’s first name on google, the results are dominated by stories of those two. You simply can’t say the same about Dmytro Timashov.
To the Dmytros of the world, let’s see what you got in gaining a worldwide recognition.
To Timashov, best of luck making that list. Your goal might be to gain an NHL roster spot, but don’t you ever forget about that sweet online clout as well.