The 2019 International Geography Olympiad (iGeo) recently concluded in Hong Kong with Team USA’s best ever performance at any iGeo: 2nd place out of 43 teams! This marks the third year in a row that Team USA has finished among the top 3 teams at iGeo – as well as the second year that Team USA has had the overall World Champion student at iGeo! Taking top honors among the 166 students in Hong Kong was Albert Zhang, of F.W. Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Florida. The iGeo World Championship adds to Albert’s illustrious geography competition career, coming on the heels of his 2019 Varsity National Championship title and 2018 Junior Varsity Championship title in the US Geography Olympiad. James Mullen, of Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, California was the other US student to win the individual iGeo title, which he did in Krakow back in 2014.
For the third straight year, all US students who competed at iGeo also earned medals (i.e. they finished in the top 50% of competing students). The other medals went as follows: Silver – Kevin Lu, Richard Montgomery High School, Maryland (17th Place overall), Bronze – Daniel Ma, Hunter College High School, New York (50th Place overall), Bronze – Elys Anaya, Archimedean Upper Conservatory, Florida (56th Place overall). The team was once again coached by social studies Jason Flowers of Austin, Texas and Steve Muench of Livingston, New Jersey. Special thanks are also due to long time USGO staff member Raynell Cooper who developed a sample fieldwork exercise during the team’s training camp in Hong Kong, which helped the team members prepare for the most complex part of iGeo. The team also had the opportunity to visit with the US Consul General in Hong Kong, Hanscom Smith during their stay (see photos below) and experience Hong Kong at an important time in its history, given the widespread protests that took place during iGeo.
Team USA looks forward to another successful performance next summer at the 2020 International Geography Olympiad in Istanbul. Good luck to all students in the approaching 2019-2020 competition season!