Back when I started getting into memory sports (this was 2009 when I was just a wee lad....25 years old), one of my idols was Ben Pridmore (he still is). At the time he held the world record for memorizing a deck of cards in 25 or so seconds and I had the opportunity to meet him at the USA Memory Championships in 2009, where he was just hanging out, watching the competition. I got to chat with him (although he doesn't remember this) and asked him to memorize a section of cards which he did in mere seconds. I was so inspired! I remember being so friggin' pumped after meeting him and seeing that, that I literally walked all the way from 14th street in downtown NYC up 80 some blocks to the Upper East Side planning out my next memory competition moves in my head. What followed that year, was a series of events in my life that led me to be the memory champion I am today.
Even after all these years, Ben is still a fan favorite. He may not be at the top of his game at the moment, but why should he be? He's won the World Memory Championships 3 times and is responsible for revolutionizing memory systems in the modern era. I think that's legendary enough.
He was gracious enough to let me hound him with questions over Skype (sorry for the poor laggy video quality - let's blame Ben's slow internet connection :D), and below is the video to prove it. We talk a lot about the early 2000s and what memory sports looked like back then, how he got into the sport, and how far the sport has come now.
For anyone who has an inkling of interest in memory sports, you must watch this. Ben is quirky, oddly charming, can tell a fantastic story, and is a MNEMONIC LEGEND. Check it out!