LAKE BUENA VISITA, FL – Last week, 14-year-old Zaila Avant-garde, made history as the first African American contestant to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Avant-garde, who currently holds three Guinness world records tied to her basketball dribbling skills, secured the victory after correctly spelling the word “murraya.”
The final rounds of this year’s Bee were held in person on Friday, July 8 at ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World Resort. First lady Jill Biden attended the competition and met with the finalists and their families.
Avant-garde was one of 209 spellers to earn a spot in the national competition by advancing through local and regional bees. The contestants represented all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Department of Defense Schools in Europe.