So, Wang Feng is the new world champ. That's pretty awesome. What's more awesome is the fact that he utterly destroyed the world records for memorizing numbers. For those of you unaware, I hold the US record (which doesn't even compare to the world record, mind you), and I've been training really hard over the past year to try and bring the US record closer to the international record, but Wang Feng just made it that much harder! He memorized 480 digits in 5 minutes and 2280 digits in 60 minutes. Absolutely unbelievable. I mean, when Johannes Mallow broke the record a couple years ago with 405 digits, it seemed amazing that anyone could memorize over 400 digits. Now, it seems that 500 digits is well in sight and will no doubt be reached in the next few years. I always say this, but its just incredible to me what the brain can do and how the expectations of what the brain can do, keep going up. The championship was held in China this year and was a huge success (apparently 1.5 billion people in China watched the coverage of the event on live TV, even though their population is about 1.3 billion lol). Either way, there were a crazy amount of Chinese competitors and no doubt that after a Chinese guy took the event by storm, that next year there will be three times as many Chinese competing and a bunch more media attention. Maybe the whole world will watch this time.
Sadly, the US competition struggles yearly to get the media attention it really needs and deserves. Every year I feel like the competition is just on the verge of exploding into this nationwide frenzy, but it never happens. It's a mystery to me why it doesn't. If only the techniques that memory athletes use were taught to kids across the country, maybe American's wouldn't be so dumb compared to the world (it's true, look: USA Education Rankings). Anyways, there is the hope in my mind that this year is the year....I also feel that Josh Foer's new book "Moonwalking with Einstein" which comes out next March, will be a hit and people will get interested in our US competition. If they make a movie about it, (as the myth goes Joshua supposedly sold his book's story to Paramount for a million dollars or something) then no doubt it will make the event huge.
So, fingers crossed.
In the mean-time, get excited: USA Memory Championship