A 14-year-old eighth-grader from Pennsylvania called Sukanya Roy has won the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee, walking away with a huge trophy and cash and prizes worth around $40,000.

I don’t understand the appeal of spelling bees, personally, but in North America they seem to be huge. In fact they’re treated as a sport and those competing are treated like athletes. How truly bizarre.

Still, with that kind of money on offer and a level of competitiveness you expect to see in professional sports who am I to condemn these talented kids and their (likely) pushy parents.

Roy won by spelling ‘Cymotrichous’ after a gruelling 21 rounds in which not one of the final competitors put a foot wrong, or more accurately, misplaced a letter. She’s clearly better than I am because I wouldn’t have spelled that correctly.

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