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Snigdha Nandiputi Wins 2012 National Spelling

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

The 14-year-old correctly spelled “guetapens” to become the 2012 spelling champion.

Snigdha Nandiputi Wins 2012 National Spelling

If they air it on ESPN, it has to be a sport.  Thus, the Scripps National Spelling Bee that airs every year on ESPN is a sport.  Last night, Snigdha Nandiputi was crowned the champion of the 2012 bee when she correctly spelled "guetapens" (a French word meaning to ambush or trap).  She defeated a field of 278 spellers over the week-long tournament and bested Stuti Mishra in the final showdown.  

As a former spelling bee champion (back in the 5th grade), I enjoy watching the event every year.  These kids work incredibly hard and spell some amazingly difficult (and possibly made up) words.  But at the same time, they are still kids, and their exuberance and childish natures produce some of the best moments of the whole event.  This year was no different.  We were treated with the youngest speller to ever compete (six-year-old Lori Anne Madison), kids rambling off letters when they don't know how to spell words, the most polite contestant I've ever seen in Jamaican Gifton Wright, and a funny exchange between Arvind Mahankali and Dr. Jacques Bailly on the pronunciation of the word "quattrocento".  Arvind was having trouble with the right pronunciation, and after several attempts finally asked, "Are there any alternate pronunciations?"  

There was a bit of an awkward moment at the conclusion of the bee, however.  ESPN's Sam Steele was down on the stage with Snigdha and Stuti after the conclusion, and in the confusion of everything going on, she accidentally called over Stuti to accept the trophy.  Take a look:

It was tough to watch that live, but Snigdha handled it like a pro.  Congratulations to Snigdha and everyone who participated, because there are no losers in the quest and pursuit of knowledge.

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