National Geographic World Championship 2007

Canadians take bronze medal at World Championship

Date: August 9th, 2007
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Team Canada: Maxim Ralchenko, Marky Freeman and Jonathan Whyte

A team of three Canadian students - Marky Freeman, Maxim Ralchenko and Jonathan Whyte – competed today against Mexico and the United States in the final round the National Geographic World Championship at Shamu Stadium, Sea World, San Diego.  The Canadians did very well, capturing the Bronze Medal after 8 gruelling rounds of tough competition.

The final, moderated by Alex Trebek, was the culmination of two days of intense competition that covered all aspects of geography, including proving their map-reading and orienteering skills. The Canadian team successfully beat out teams from fourteen other countries to reach today’s final.

The Canadian team was made up of Marky Freeman, a 14-year-old grade 9 student at the Associated Hebrew School in Thornhill, Ontario; Maxim Ralchenko, 13, a grade 9 student from Merivale High School in Ottawa; and Jonathan Whyte, 13, a grade 8 student at Humber Valley Village Junior Middle School in Toronto.

“We are very proud of these students and know they will always treasure their Canadian Geographic Challenge and National Geographic World Championship experiences,” said Beth Dye, Chair of the Canadian Council for Geographic Education (CCGE) who accompanied the team. The CCGE organizes the annual Canadian Geographic Challenge, a national student geography competition – sponsored by HSBC Bank Canada and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society – where the winners qualify for the World Championship.  More than 150,000 students in 816 schools across the country participated in this year’s Challenge.