National Geographic World Championship 2005

Team Canada gets bronzed

Date: July 14, 2005
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Team Canada: Nathan Friedman, John Yao and Daniel Siracusa

What river serves as the border between South Africa and Mozambique? What group of people is found in northern Iraq and Iran, as well as southern Turkey?* When quizmaster Alex Trebek asks you such questions under the glare of television lights and in front of thousands of people, it's hard to keep your cool. But Team Canada managed to do just that, securing a bronze medal at the National Geographic World Championship in Budapest, Hungary, on July 14.

After each of the 18 participating teams took a written test and was challenged to an orienteering exercise through the Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden, a three-way tie sent Canada, the United States and Russia into the final round. In the end, Canada trailed silver medallist Russia by one point, and the United States won gold.

Canada was represented by captain Daniel Siracusa (right), Nathan Friedman (left) and John Yao (middle), all of whom won top honours in Canadian Geographic Challenge in 2004 and 2005.

"We talked about how we would come to an answer that we weren't sure about, and I told John and Nathan not to get flustered because we were on stage," says Siracusa. "We worked well together, and all contributed individual aspects that helped in the competition."

Tanya Manoryk

*Team Canada correctly answered: the Limpopo River and the Kurds.