Olathe’s Vanya Shivashankar ties for National Spelling Bee title

 Joshua Roberts—Reuters Vanya Shivashankar, left, and Gokul Venkatachalam lift the trophy after becoming co-champions after the final round of the 88th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee at National Harbor, Md., on May 28, 2015

Vanya Shivashankar, left, and Gokul Venkatachalam lift the trophy after becoming co-champions after the final round of the 88th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee at National Harbor, Md., on May 28, 2015…Photo by Joshua Roberts—Reuters

The winning words in the nail-biter final were ‘scherenschnitte’ and ‘nunatak’

From Time Magazine

In a dramatic, flawless final round, two eighth-graders proved to be joint winners at the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee. One a girl and one a boy, one from Kansas and one from Missouri, one a five-time finalist and one a four-timer, 13-year-old Vanya Shivashankar and 14-year-old Gokul Venkatachalam put both their hands on the trophy and thrust it into the air on Thursday evening—after spelling word after word that few people could even hope to pronounce correctly.

Shivashankar’s winning word was scherenschnitte, meaning the art of cutting paper into decorative designs. Venkatachalam’s was nunatak, a hill or mountain completely surrounded by glacial ice.

This is the second year in a row that the final has yielded co-champions. Last year was the first time in 52 years that two people had shared the trophy, and 2015 marks the first time in the bee’s 90-year history that there have ever been co-champions two years in a row. This is only the fifth tie ever.

To read the entire article, click here.

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