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Kavya Shivashankar, spelling champ
Why a 13-year-old Kansan's spelling bee win was so riveting
 

There’s something about spelling bees that makes them “oddly compelling,” said Kristen A. Graham in The Philadelphia Inquirer. And this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee was no exception. Thirteen-year-old Kavya Shivashankar, from Olathe, Kan., won by correctly spelling “Laodicean” (which means indifferent to religion or politics) in the dramatic finale of the annual three-day “spectacle.”

Kavya Shivashankar and the other contestants mirror the diversity of America at its best, said Dashiell Bennett in Deadspin. From fourth- to eighth-graders, the kids are of all races—and every one of them is “an adorable, awkward nerd.” The competitors "get cocky, they strut, they talk sass to the judges—then they misspell a Greek word for 'goat horn' or something and their little dreams are crushed." It's "riveting."
 
And "the best is yet to come" for these ambitious little brainiacs, said the AP's Joseph White via Google. Kavya Shivashankar, for example, is an aspiring neurosurgeon. And Shivashankar—the seventh Indian-American in 11 years to win the bee—wants to "keep her competitive juices flowing" in the near-term by entering the International Brain Bee.

 

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