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Canada Wins National Geographic World Championship


Canada took top honors at the ninth National Geographic World Championship held today at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, the National Geographic Society announced today.

The United States came second, and Poland, just one point behind the United States, was third.


canada team picture.jpg

canada-flag.jpgThe winning team members from left are Chris Chiavatti of British Columbia, Peter Brandt of Manitoba, both 15, and Graham Tompkins, 16, of Nova Scotia.

NGS photo by Tyrone Turner

“This is the second time Canada has won the geography competition. It was victorious at the third National Geographic World Championship in 1997, when it beat eight other teams in Washington, D.C.,” the Society said in a statement.

Fifteen national teams competed in the competition this year.



The U.S. team members were Kenji Golimlim, 11, of Southgate, Michigan; Milan Sandhu, 15, of Bedford, New Hampshire; and Eric Yang, 13, of The Colony, Texas.



Poland’s team members were Piotr Byrski, 16, of Łodygowice, Ślaskie; Wojciech Kaczmarczyk, 16, of Racibórz, Ślaskie; and Gabriel Stachura, 16, of Lublin, Lubelskie.


“In an Olympics-style ceremony, medals were awarded to the first-, second- and third-placed teams. Alex Trebek, host of the U.S. television quiz show “Jeopardy!”, moderated today’s finals,” a National Geographic news release said.


NGS photo by Tyrone Turner

“Canada, the United States and Poland qualified for the final round after obtaining the highest combined scores in a written contest on Sunday and in Monday’s preliminary activity that included a hands-on map activity. Canada was the highest scorer in these earlier rounds.”



NGS photos by Tyrone Turner

Students were eligible to take part in the World Championship competition by winning or being a top finisher in the national competitions of their home regions. The 12 other teams competing this year were from Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chinese Taipei, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and the United Kingdom.

The presenting sponsor of this year’s international contest organized by the National Geographic Society was Telmex Foundation, with supporting sponsorship from the Mexican Academy of Sciences, CONACYT, JW Marriott Mexico City and Televisa Foundation.

“The competition enhances international dialogue and understanding and promotes friendships around the globe.”

John Fahey, president of the National Geographic Society, said the competition was a great way for talented young geographers around the world to match wits against each other and to enjoy a rewarding cross-cultural exchange. “The competition enhances international dialogue and understanding and promotes friendships around the globe,” he added.

The World Championship is held every two years. The first contest, held in London in 1993, was won by the United States, which beat teams from the United Kingdom and Russia. The Australians, competing against four other teams, won the 1995 competition in Orlando, Fla.

The third championship, held in 1997 at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., was won by Canada, which bested eight other teams. The United States won the next four competitions: against 11 other teams in Toronto, Canada, in 1999; against 12 other teams in Vancouver, Canada, in 2001; against 17 other teams at Busch Gardens, Fla., in 2003; and against 17 other teams in Budapest, Hungary, in 2005. The 2007 competition at SeaWorld, San Diego, was won by Mexico, which beat 16 other teams.


  1. Becca
    December 29, 2009, 2:50 pm

    wow!!!!! great job!!! Congradulations to Canada 8-] I am still excited for you and I live in the USA!!!!!

  2. Joe Miller
    July 17, 2009, 10:55 am

    Way to make us proud guys! I do have one comment. In the article NG mentions the city and state / province for the kids from the U.S. and Poland, but for the Canadian kids, only the province is mentioned, no home town. And this was an article about a geography competition! So FYI, we do have cities and towns in Canada.

  3. Felinemom
    July 15, 2009, 10:11 pm

    You guys rock! What a team! What a victory! You even represent Canada across the board geographically! Your story should be known from coast to coast to coast. We share your joy. Congratulations to you and all the people that supported you.