I got really excited on Thursday night after hearing that Émilie Lafleur had made it through to the top 45 world spellers at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. The 45 included seven Canadians from the Canwest Canspell spelling bee, whose regional contests are sponsored by local Canwest papers. Émilie was the winner of the Montreal regional contest sponsored by The Gazette.
But in Round 5 yesterday, as the 45 became 24, all the Canadians missed their words and were eliminated, including Émilie. The word she missed (which will no doubt haunt her for the rest of her life) was tonneau, which is a pickup truck cover. (Ironically, the word has a French origin, which would have helped her had she not given it an “a” instead of an “o”.)
The contest went 16 rounds (it was down to 12 Round 8, and three by Round 12). The winner was Sameer Mishra, a 13-year-old from Lafayette, Indiana.
Still, for surprising even herself by making it this far, Émilie Lafleur deserves congratulations.