After almost a week of competing, months of preparing and over a dozen final rounds of performing on ESPN, the champion of the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee has been crowned.
Ananya Vinay, a native of California, captured the title at the prestigious spelling championship after correctly spelling gifblaar and marocain back-to-back. Vinay looked shocked as she correctly recited the spelling of the last word, while runner-up Rohan Rajeev stood to the side with his hands covering his face having just missed his last word.
— NationalSpellingBee (@ScrippsBee) June 2, 2017
Fifteen spellers stood on stage at the start of the championship round Thursday night, and Vinay stood out as the youngest at 12. But despite her age, she remained poised, confident and focused as she spelled word after word. In a post-win interview, Vinay shared her simple plan and her recipe for success: “Just focus on my words and try to spell them right.”
The three-time California State Elementary Spelling Bee champion far exceeded her 2016 performance at the Scripps Bee, where she finished 172th, and she is eligible for two more Scripps tournament, should she want to defend her title.
Before the tournament, Vinay told the Fresno Bee that she remained confident but kept her expectations in check.
“I’m just going to try my best and see how far I get,” she said. “I only get a little nervous.”
But, at the end of the long tournament, Vinay is a champion, and a champion with a message for her favorite NBA team and her favorite athlete.
“Go [Steph] Curry,” she said moments before Golden State defeated Cleveland in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) June 2, 2017