July 21, 2008
Alex Zhai earned one of only three perfect papers as he helped lead the U.S. team to a third place finish at the 2008 International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in Madrid, Spain. The gold medal marks the second for Zhai who competed in last year’s IMO in Vietnam.
Also earning gold medals for the U.S. team were Shaunak Kishore, Colin Sandon, and Krishanu Sankar. Evan O’Dorney and Paul Christiano both earned silver medals for their efforts.
China’s 217 team points were enough to take home first place ahead of 2007 champion Russia, who finished second with 199 points. South Korea finished fourth with 188 points. The third place finish is the highest for the U.S. since the 2005 team finished second in Mexico City.
“Many thanks to Team Leader Zuming Feng, and Deputy Leader Razvan Gelca for their very hard work in preparing the team so well, and advocating for the team's individual scores in the coordination phase,” MAA Director of Competitions Steve Dunbar said.
Over the weekend, the team got a chance to explore Madrid and take a sightseeing tour of Toledo. The IMO closing ceremonies are this evening and the team will return stateside tomorrow.
Previous: U.S. Team Heads for Madrid, The Competition Begins
For a glimpse of what happens at an International Mathematical Olympiad see the film Hard Problems, a documentary on the 2006 IMO in Slovenia.