- Louisiana native, Zaila Avant-garde, has become the first African-American to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition
- The 14-year-old speller triumphed after correctly spelling a type of tree called Murraya
- The 93rd edition of the Scripps National Spelling Bee was held on Thursday, July 8, 2021, in the United States
A 14-year-old from Louisiana, Zaila Avant-garde, has made history as the first African-American to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition in the United States.
The 2021 edition of the national competition was held on Thursday, July 8, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, USA.
The New Orleans indigene triumphed over her contenders to emerge as the winner, becoming the first-ever African-American contestant to win in 93 editions of the competition.
The only Black winner before was Jody-Anne Maxwell, representing Jamaica in 1998, according to edition.cnn.com.
Winning the championship
Avant-garde won after correctly spelling a type of tree called Murraya, previously navigating her way through words like “querimonious,” “solidungulate,” and “Nepeta,” to clinch the championship.
Thursday’s victory is just one in a long list of achievements for the teenager.
On Instagram, where she has a following of over 14,000 people, she has shared her journey toward the national spelling bee, as well as clips of her playing basketball.
She’s good a record
In addition to her recent championship achievement, Avant-garde was the Guinness World Records title holder for most bounce juggles in one minute.
The National Spelling Bee competition began with 209 spellers, ranging from 9 to 15 years old, from five countries: the US, the Bahamas, Canada, Ghana and Japan. And 11 contestants entered Thursday night’s final.
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Victory was offered full scholarships by Ivy League schools; Yale College, Princeton University, Harvard, and Brown College in both the US and Canada to the tune of more than $5 million (N1,902,500,000).
While speaking with the media, the teenager said the whole development came as very surprising to her, adding that she never thought any school would even offer her admission.