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Louisiana Teen, Zaila Avant-gard Becomes the First African American Contestant to Win National Spelling Bee

On Thursday, Zaila Avant-garde, a 14-year-old from New Orleans, Louisiana, won the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee, making her the first African American candidate to win in the competition’s 93 editions.

Jody-Anne Maxwell, who represented Jamaica in 1998, was the only previous Black winner. Zaila won the tournament after accurately spelling murraya, which is a type of tree. To get there, the teen had to tackle words like “querimonious,” “solidungulate,” and “Nepeta,” a word she had to reset on and let out a joyful jump after spelling it right.

Zaila will be awarded a monetary prize of $50,000.

The champion’s victory on Thursday night is simply the latest in a lengthy list of accomplishments.

She has a following of over 14,000 people on Instagram, where she has documented her triumphant journey to the national spelling bee as well as videos of her playing hoops, stunning her fans with all her amazing abilities.

The spelling bee champion also held the Guinness World Record for the most bounce juggles in one minute.

Zaila began dribbling at the age of five, according to a video uploaded on the official Guinness World Records Twitter page, and aims to one day join the WNBA as a professional basketball player.

She said in the video, “I think the more that the achievements and triumphs of women are promoted and publicized, the more likely it is that other girls all around the world will see that they can do any and everything that they put their minds to.”

The National Spelling Bee started with 209 spellers aged 9 to 15 from five countries: the United States, the Bahamas, Canada, Ghana, and Japan. In addition, 11 candidates competed in the final on Thursday night.



Source: balleralert


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