National Geographic World Championship 2011

Canadians win silver medal at World Championship!

Date: July 27th, 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Team Canada: Aoife O’Leary, Alejandro Torres-Lopez and Alexander Cohen

Defending champion Team Canada took home silver at the 2011 National Geographic World Championship. Russia garnered the gold medal, and Chinese Taipei won bronze after a challenging eight rounds during the final, which was held on July 27 at Google headquarters, in Mountain View, Calif. Seventeen teams from around the world took part in the biennial competition.

Team members Alejandro Torres-Lopez, 16, of North Vancouver, Alexander Cohen, 15, of Ottawa and Aoife O’Leary, 15, of Surrey, B.C., added to Canada’s near-perfect record of placing in the top three at the World Championship since it started participating in 1995. Beth Dye, a Governor of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society and chair of the Canadian Geographic Challenge Committee, accompanied the students and notes that this year’s questions were tougher than in previous competitions. She says that the team members, each of whom has participated in the Canadian Geographic Challenge for several years, were dedicated to working together and shared great pride in representing their country.

— Jessica Harding

Photo: Team Canada
From left: Andrew Cohen, Aoife O’Leary and Alejandro Torres-Lopez with John Fahey, chairman and CEO of the National Geographic Society. (Photo: Beth Dye)