Well, it could not have got better for young Kavya Shivashankar as she came out with flying colors at theScripps National Spelling Bee 2009. On Thursday’s finals she outlasted the other 11 finalists to win the champion’s trophy and to take home more than $40,000 cash money along with other prizes.
Thing came a bit late in Kavya Shivashankar’s life since she could win the championship with her fourth appearance in the competition. The last three times when she had taken part in the same competition she had finished Tenth, Eighth and Fourth.
However, this time 13-year-old Shivashankar proved her mettle by winning the title she had been vying for so long. Her last challenge was to spell out “Laodicean,” she spelled it correctly and a big smile appeared on her face. The Olathe, Kansas girl who aims to become a neurosurgeon wrote the words on her palm and spelled every word correctly. All her answers were followed by a smile.
After winning Shivashankar exclaimed, “I can’t believe it happened…. It feels kind of unreal. “Kavya Shivashankar’s family was there to support her through the competition. Her father, Mirle Shivashankar said, “The competitiveness is in her… but she doesn’t show that. She still has that smile. That’s her quality.” He went on to say that this was “the moment” they had been waiting for so long. It was like “a dream come true” for them.
Tim Ruiter from Centreville, Va. came in second. 12-year-old Ruiter lost to Shivashankar as he had misspelled “Maecenas.” 13-year-old Aishwarya Pastapur from Springfield, Ill, came in third. This year’s contest was the 82nd annual Spelling Bee contest and it involved a record 293 participants.