Spelling Bee cancels national finals for first time since World War II due to coronavirus pandemic

The announcement has come a month after the Spelling Bee championship was suspended.

FP Trending April 22, 2020 19:41:27 IST
Spelling Bee cancels national finals for first time since World War II due to coronavirus pandemic

The Scripps National Spelling Bee competition has cancelled its finals in view of coronavirus outbreak.

"This year marks the only time since World War II (1943-1945) that the Bee has canceled the national finals since the program’s inception in 1925,” said a press release.

Spelling Bee cancels national finals for first time since World War II due to coronavirus pandemic

File image of Karthik Nemmani, a winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. AP

The announcement has come a month after the championship was suspended. According to CBS Newsthe finals were slated to take place in the end of May in National Harbor, Maryland.

As per the statement by the Scripps National Spelling Bee, before coronavirus forced them to suspend the national finals, more than 150 local sponsors had already declared their respective regional champions. The organizers said that they would recognize the spellers in the coming months.

In a word of encouragement to the spellers, the executive director of Scripps National Spelling Bee, Paige Kimble, said the students should feel proud that they have won spelling bees at the classroom, school and regional level.

“Our hearts go out to the spellers who won’t get their final shot at winning because of the pandemic and the difficult decisions it is prompting us to make. They are now part of a widely expanding group of children and adults who are missing out on opportunities due to the coronavirus,” she added.

The widely loved championship is expected to be back on 1 June, 2021.

Last year, eight participants emerged victorious in the 92nd Scripps National Spelling Bee. The competition ended after 20 rounds, which included a run of 47 correct words, reported CNN.

In 2019, there were eight co-champions after the organizers ran out of words that could test the contestants.

In 2018, Karthik Nemmani, a 14-year-old Indian-American boy, got the better of his co-contestants in the Spelling Bee. He won more than $42,000 in cash and prizes. He correctly spelt "koinonia" to win the championship. Karthik was the 14th Indian-American winner of the championship in 11 consecutive years.

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