Every year, Americans get to see some of the youngest and brightest minds shine on stage as they spell some undeniably tough words, like "myriacanthous" or "trypanosomiasis." This year's
2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee's photos establish what is pretty much truth by now: that these spellers are not only skilled at tacking formidable, sometimes obscure words, they're also simply adorable.
Photos taken at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, showed how spellers from the
record-breaking crowd of 519 participants wowed their audience with their linguistic command. From 15-year-olds to participants as young as 8, the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee featured great talent from across the country.
youngest participants were two 8-year-olds, Sivasaipraneethreddy Devireddy of North Carolina and Akash Vukoti of Texas. In profiles meant for each participant, the official website for the Scripps National Spelling Bee gave readers a glimpse into the hobbies, television shows, food, and other things that the spellers loved. In one instance, young Vukoti listed his favorite athlete as the one and only LeBron James.
It goes without saying that the competition is a nerve-wracking experience, but it looks like the kids handled it with confidence. Here are some of the most evocative, heartwarming, and amusing photos from the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
1 Spelling Bee Camaradie Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Perhaps one of the best images from the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee was that of good ol' sportsmanship between participants. Competition gets tough for these children, but their spirit of encouragement for each other and morale-boosting is more than clear in photos like the one above.
2 Concentration And Literally Spelling It Out Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images
You may have noticed that some participants
scribble the spelling of the words on their name tags. Although the bees aren't given pencils to write anything down, they often use their fingertips on their forearms or name tags to get the letters sorted out. 3 Whew, Relief Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images
If the audience feels nail-biting anticipation as the children spell out words, imagine the amount of direct pressure on the participant. It's not exactly an easy, breezy ride up there on the stage.
4 High Five! Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images
As noted before, sportsmanship seems to be a constant at the National Spelling Bee — and it's adorable. For reference, that's a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e. A loan word from French with a Latin root of "adorabilis," which was first used in 1601,
according to Merriam Webster. You're welcome. 5 Juxtapose This Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images
It's unclear what's going on here. But it seems like participant number 447, Naysa Modi, and participant number 460, Rohan Raja, are having fairly opposite — and amusing — reactions.
6 Oof Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images
always rainbows and sunshine for these spellers. Preparation for the Scripps National Spelling Bee requires an intense deal of concentration, memorization, and practice. Naturally, it's sometimes an exhausting process for the young children. In photos like the one shown here, it seems like Saketh Sundar and Navneeth Murali could do well with a tiny break. 7 Victory Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Who doesn't love a good, solid victory fist-pump? Clearly, this speller is enjoying a triumphant moment here.
8 You Get A High Five, And You Get A High Five! Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images
High-fiving a row of outstretched hands is par for the course here. That's Ronald Walters from Wisconsin for you, folks.
9 Focus Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images
For some spellers, like Michigan's Brendan Pawlicki, you have to close your eyes and focus on the word alone to get the job done.
10 Tapping Out For A Moment Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Sometimes, you just need a moment to yourself.
11 Pure Methodology Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images
As mentioned before, some participants focus on spelling the word by drawing it out on themselves. Here, participant Shifa Amankwa-Gabbey is spelling it on her palm.
12 Hug Time Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images
In spite of the arduous nature of some words, participants seem above the pressure in photos like these where contestants don't let competition override their spirit of friendship.
13 Oh, Man! Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Sometimes, there are heartbreaking let-downs. In that case, photos like this can move viewers into empathizing with the children who often put their heart and soul into memorizing and spelling words.
14 Unity Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Regardless of defeat, the kids often cheer for each other.
15 Going Out Strong Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Nothing's better than a cute heart sign in the air.
16 The Runner-Up
Runner-up Naysa Modi told the Scripps Bee that she had always felt at home on-stage, and it definitely showed.
17 And The Winner Is ...
won the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee with "koinonia," a word meaning "the Christian fellowship or body of believers," according to Merriam-Webster. "I had confidence, but I didn’t think it would really happen,” the 14-year-old from Texas said, according to the Dallas News.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is a daunting undertaking for many students. But from the looks of these photos, it's clear that the kids not only faced some big words, they also had a good time.