Nine out of the 11 finalists for the US Spelling Bee 2021 contest happens to be Indian-Americans, indicating the dominance that young kids from the small ethnic community have had on this coveted and extremely tough endurance test for over a decade now, a PTI report indicated.
A total of 11 spellers, including 9 Indian-Americans, on July 8 will compete for the champion title during the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals, as per a statement released on Monday.
The Bee will have the option of activating a spell-off during the in-person finals if required. The spell-off would be activated in the last few minutes of the competition if a champion has not been declared in a traditional, one-person, one-word round, the statement said.
“We are delighted to introduce our 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee Finalists,” said Dr J Michael Durnil, executive director of the Bee. “Round after round, this group of spellers proved their mettle, and we look forward to seeing them show off their knowledge and hard work as they square off against the dictionary on the global stage.”
“Congratulations to all of this year’s 209 national qualifiers, he added. “They have persevered over a year that has been tough and challenging in many ways, and our team is proud to have recorded their journey.”
The National Bee is a high-profile, high-pressure endurance test as spellers spend several months preparing for it.
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will host the final rounds of this year’s contest at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida, which will be brought live on ESPN2.
Over the last 20 years, Indian-Americans have been leading the Spelling Bee contest even though they consist of only about 1% of the US population.
2020’s Bee got cancelled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. However, there were eight co-champions in 2019, out of which seven were Indian-Americans, bringing the total number of Indian-American champions to 26 since 1999.
11 Finalists of 2021 National Spelling Bee
Roy Seligman (12) from Nassau, The Bahamas
Bhavana Madini (13) from New York
Sreethan Gajula (14) from Charlotte, North Carolina
Ashrita Gandhari (14) from Leesburg, Virginia
Avani Joshi (13) from Illinois
Zaila Bharatia (12) from New Orleans
Vivinsha Veduru (10) from Texas
Akshainie Kamma (13) from Texas
Chaitre Thummala (12) from San Francisco
Dhroov Bharatia (12) from Dallas
Vihaan Sibal (12) from Texas