Zaila Avant-garde, 14, becomes first African-American to win Spelling Bee

After winning several Guinness World Records for dribbling multiple basketballs at a time, 14-year-old Zaila Avant-garde becomes the first Black contestant to win the 90-year-old Scripps National Spelling Bee competition by correctly spelling 'Murraya'
Zaila Avant-garde, 14, from New Orleans, Louisiana, holds the trophy after winning the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, U.S. July 8, 2021. REUTERS/Joe Skipper(REUTERS)
Zaila Avant-garde, 14, from New Orleans, Louisiana, holds the trophy after winning the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, U.S. July 8, 2021. REUTERS/Joe Skipper(REUTERS)
Updated on Jul 09, 2021 08:00 AM IST
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Reuters |

Zaila Avant-garde, 14, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday by correctly spelling Murraya, a genus of plants, becoming the first African American to win the 90-year-old competition, which was cancelled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Also an accomplished basketball player who holds several Guinness World Records for dribbling multiple basketballs at a time, Avant-garde, from New Orleans, is the first Black contestant to win since Jody-Anne Maxwell of Jamaica in 1998. Maxwell was also the first winner from outside the United States.

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This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.
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Saturday, December 04, 2021