Last night was the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee, the event which first made adults ponder, “Am I smarter than a 5th grader?”
This year, the contest ended in a tie between two teenage boys, each messing up on difficult words back-to-back before continuing in a flawless duel, spelling in a manner rarely seen by well, anyone. They are the first co-winners since 1962, and the fourth since the competition began in 1925.
New York native Sriram Hathwar, 14, and Texan Ansun Sujoe, 13, both shared the top spot. Sriram, a Spelling Bee veteran, mused that “The competition was against the dictionary, not against each other,” adding, “I’m happy to share this trophy with him.” Ansun, who has only competed in the Bee once before, said of Sriram, “I’d seen him in the finals, and I wanted to be like that.”
As luck would have it, each said they knew how to spell the word the other got wrong. Sriram failed on “corpsbruder,” a close comrade, and Ansun messed up on “antigropelos,” which means waterproof leggings.
Here are some of the other words both boys spelled correctly: Skandhas, hyblaean, feijoada, augenphilologie, sdrucciola, holluschick, thyemelici, paixtle, encaenia, Terreplein and, finally, stichomythia for Sriram and feuilleton for Ansun.
While Sriram and Ansun may be the big winners of the evening, there’s another overly enthusiastic young gentleman who I’m sure will be the real winner when this clip of his fall from grace goes viral.
He was flying high until his world came crashing down under the weight of his self confidence.