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Victorious at the 2021 Spelling Bee

By Kevin Bao

14 year old Zalia Avant-Garde was crowned the winner of the 2021 Spelling Bee on July 8. She made history by being the first African-American to win the competition. The competition has been going on for 96 years now and until today no African-American has been able to win it. She outspelled the 10 other contestants near Orlando, Florida to win a trophy and $50,000 in cash. She started competing in spelling contests at the age of 12. Those years of hard work finally paid off. Not only is Zalia one of the best spellers in the nation, she is also a terrific basketball player. She also holds 3 Guinness World Records for dribbling in Basketball. She told the TV show Good Morning America that it felt really good to become a winner. Best of all her celebration dance (after she was announced victorious) was like a basketball player hitting a buzzer beater at the end of regulation. All in all, Zalia’s hard work ended up paying off in the end.


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