Zaila Avant-Garde, 14, of New Orleans, Louisiana, won the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday, becoming the first African-American rider to win the 93 edition of the competition.
She triumphed after correctly spelling Murraya – a type of tree – to win the tournament. To get there, the girl had to cycle through words like “querimonious,” “solidungulate,” and “Nepeta,” a word the teen had to reset, then make a playful leap after being spelled correctly.
Avant-garde will receive a cash prize of $50,000.
On InstagramHaving gained more than 14,000 followers, she shared her triumphant journey towards the patriotic spelling bee as well as videos of her playing basketball, impressing her followers with her hoop skills.
“I think the more women’s achievements and triumphs are promoted and announced, the more likely it is that other girls around the world will see that they can do anything and anything they set their minds to,” she said in a video.
The spelling contest started with 209 spellers, ages 9 to 15, from five countries: the United States, the Bahamas, Canada, Ghana and Japan. Eleven contestants entered the final on Thursday night.
The first lady was Dr.