LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Can you spell “comeback”? The Scripps National Spelling Bee is back after a year off due to COVID. And this year, Las Vegas can root for a hometown speller!
Sriya Wint, a student at the Nasri Academy for Gifted Children, is getting the opportunity of a lifetime to compete nationally at the Scripps Spelling Bee.
“I did my first spelling bee in second grade, and I misspelled the word pumpkin, which I still remember. I just learned how important pronunciation is through the years and how important just spelling, and paying attention to what you're saying, and all of that is,” said Wint said.
This isn't Wint's first time competing in the Scripps Spelling Bee. She competed in the 2018-2019 bee and came in 8th place in the state.
Even though she didn't win first place, she kept at it.
“In 2020, I made it to state again, but it was canceled because of COVID so I didn’t get to continue there. So, this year I made it past state and I'm finally going to the national spelling bee!” Wint said.
Wint thanks her parents for their support in helping her study and coaching throughout the process, no matter where she is.
“I practice alone a lot, but I would say the majority of the time it’s mainly either at home while I'm trying to watch a TV show or something or on the way to and from school,” said Wint.
This year, the competition will be more challenging than in past years with the addition of “word-meaning rounds," giving spellers a chance to showcase their skills on the mic.
Wint's mom and dad, Tricia Coffey and Dylan Wint, are confident that even with the added obstacles, she will do well this year.
“I’m proud of the work she’s put in, and also of her poise under pressure. The last round she was in went back and forth between her and the second-to-last contestant and she just stuck in there and did a really good job,” said Dylan Wint said.
“I’m just super proud, it’s a lot of fun, and good to see she’s not stressed. There’s a lot of support, it's exciting people are always helping her by spelling words. The teachers and the school, everyone’s cheering her on," said Tricia Coffey.
Wint will compete in the preliminaries on June 12, then go on to compete in the quarterfinals and semifinals.
The top 10-12 spellers get to compete in the Scripps national finals on July 8, at the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando. Wint says she couldn’t have gotten this far without support from her family or by giving up.
“I would just say keep trying no matter what even if you lose sometimes, even if you get a second place, fifth place, or eighth place, no matter what place that you get that doesn’t mean you failed, because you can keep trying there’s always going to be another one. So, keep going keep spelling, read, which helps a lot, just recognizing words and just pay attention to the words around you and never stop trying,“ said Wint.