Meet Aditi Muthukumar, Colorado's spelling prodigy advances to Scripps National Spelling Bee finals - Hindustan Times
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Meet Aditi Muthukumar, Colorado's spelling prodigy advances to Scripps National Spelling Bee finals

ByNikhita Mehta
May 30, 2024 06:06 PM IST

Find out the words Aditi Muthukumar had to spell to reach the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals.

Aditi Muthukumar, a 13-year-old Westminster resident, is set to represent Colorado on the grand National Spelling Bee platform.

Aditi Muthukumar, 13, of Westminster competitor of the Scripps National Spelling Bee pose for a group photograph after the conclusion of the semifinals, in Oxon Hill, Md., Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)(AP)
Aditi Muthukumar, 13, of Westminster competitor of the Scripps National Spelling Bee pose for a group photograph after the conclusion of the semifinals, in Oxon Hill, Md., Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)(AP)

On Wednesday, Aditi Muthukumar, along with seven other outstanding spellers, advanced onto the next level. These spellers will battle for the Scripps Cup to reach the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals.

Eighth-grader Muthukumar, of Hulstrom K-8 in Northglenn, stated that she took spelling "very seriously" last year and that's why she was able to give herself extra time this year to examine terms before the bee. She remarked, "I had more of a trajectory."

“I knew where I was going with some of my study resources.”

Aditi secured her place in the finals when she correctly spelled the word "myrmecoxene," which, according to Merriam-Webster, refers to an insect living in the nest of another insect that is fed and guarded for its secretions, which are used as food.

For Muthukumar, who participated in the bee last year but spelled a word incorrectly in the quarterfinals, it's a small kind of atonement.

Also Read: Scripps National Spelling Bee 2024: How to watch, where to live stream and more

Aditi Muthukumar's reaction to making it to the finals

Muthukumar described her reaction to making it to the finals as "just really shell shocked." “I was not expecting to be here. And honestly, I'm just really grateful that I've made it this far. Just being here was really surreal.”

Aditi spelled "Torquemada," which comes from the name of a Spanish inquisitor from the 15th century, and "taha," a weaverbird native to South Africa, on Wednesday in addition to “myrmecoxene”. She also defined the terms "welter," which means to writhe and toss, and "bellicosity," which refers to aggression.

She will participate in Thursday's final, which you can watch on Ion at 6 p.m. Mountain Time, for the trophy and a $5,000 cash prize.

Until then, Aditi said she'd be taking some time to relax. “If I do say so myself, I've been working pretty hard this past year, especially these past few months,” she said. “So I guess it's nice to just give myself some time to think and rest.”

During the third round on Tuesday, Cooper Edwards, an 11-year-old student from Boulder Valley School District who is the only other Coloradan competing in this year's bee, spelled a word incorrectly. Muthukumar and Edwards were two of the 245 competitors in the bee.

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