Champions of something: India vs the West Indies

September 17, 2016 — by Alex Yang

Junior discusses the pros and cons of being a world renowed sprinter or a world renowed speller. 

Would you rather be Indian American or Jamaican?

Of course, this is the most pressing issue for our generation as American presidential elections reach a critical point, and terrorist attacks across the globe seriously threaten our safety.

There is one very obvious difference between Jamaicans and Indians. Jamaica, whose population is about 2.6 million, produces the fastest people on Earth, generally taking many medals in short-distance events at track competitions around the world.

For one, Usain Bolt, in three separate Olympics, has never earned anything less than a gold medal in all nine events in which he has participated. Newcomer Elaine Thompson of Jamaica has recently dominated women’s sprinting, taking the gold in 100m and 200m and settling for silver in the 4x100m relay.

With a similar population at around 2.6 million, Indian Americans are also champions in their own right at something completely different: the annual Scripps Spelling Bee.

Winning every single iteration of the Scripps Spelling Bee since 2007, Indian-Americans seem to be an unstoppable force when faced with long, hard-to-spell words.

Now, I’ve been tasked with making a decision: Would I rather be a great speller, or a great sprinter? It wouldn’t be fair for me to answer unless I weigh the pros and cons of both options.

I think it’s reasonable to consider how both sides would do in a hypothetical zombie apocalypse. This will judge how well either side would do in a life-or-death situation.

Looking at how Jamaican sprinters will likely be able to escape any sticky situation with ease using their superior speed, it seems they are unmatched in running ability. However, sprinting isn’t the same thing as long-distance running, which is something one must do in the case of an apocalypse occurring.

Still, that is a lot better than being able to spell “Scherenschnitte” correctly, which is what last year’s Scripps winner Vanya Shivanshankar did to pass in the finals.

On the bright side, though, there is always the situation in which zombies hold spelling bees to determine which humans should be spared.

However, I think it would be fair to look at a similarly likely situation and compare the two parties one more. The hypothetical situation of an asteroid impact with Earth seems pretty fair.

For the Jamaican side of things, it looks bleak. No matter how fast you can run, you can't outrun a 66 million ton chunk of rock hurdling at the planet.

However, if you are a spelling bee champion, you can at least spell “asteroid” before getting completely obliterated.

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