May 31, 2006

Bonny's the Man


Bonny Jain is NOT your average 12 year old.

I've mentioned Bonny before, but now he's back this year and unstoppable. Jain wiped out the competition to emerge as the champion in the National Geographic Bee hosted by Alex Trebek.

The winning question? "Name the mountains that extend across much of Wales from the Irish Sea to the Bristol Channel." Jain held up a card on which he'd written "Cambrian" to clinch the championship.

Winning the geographic contest is remarkable in itself, but now he's on to compete in the Scripps/Howard nationial spelling bee. He placed 28th in the country last year, his second appearance in the finals of the bee.

AFter his victory as geography king, I saw him interviewed on MSNBC and CNN, where they tried to stump him with a couple questions. One asked which river divided Portugal into two agricultural regions, and he instantly gave the correct answer, the Tagus. (sheesh, that's easy.)

Jain also made appearances on NBC's "Today Show," MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" and ABC's "The View", and many other media including attention in the Indian press.

The Dispatch reports:
The first two rounds of this year's spelling bee will be today, starting with a 25-word written test, followed by an oral round. Championship rounds will be Thursday and will be televised live from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on ESPN and from 7 to 9 p.m. on ABC affiliate WQAD-NewChannel 8. "Good Morning America"co-host Robin Roberts will lead the broadcast.
If you want to watch some truly nerve-wracking competition, (the stress was so intense one boy passed out last year in mid-spell) tune in and root for the local kid.

Congratulations to Bonny and good luck in the spelling bee!

A report on the Moline boy's win as well as video of the championship round is available at the National Geographic here.

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