Spurred by last year’s tough loss, Scripps National Spelling Bee runner-up Rohan Rajeev has been hitting the weight room hard in preparation for the upcoming spelling season.
“After the finals, Rohan was pretty distraught,” said Rajeev’s mother, who initially feared her son was neglecting his dictionary work, but has since been inspired by her son’s pursuit of excellence. “The next morning we found him shadowboxing at the local YMCA. Turns out he had been in the weight room all night, focusing on the next championship.”
“The bee is all about preparation,” said a visibly more muscular Rohan Rajeev on Sunday. “With all the spectacle of the Scripps stage—a handful of athletes at the top of their game going head to head—most people forget the real battle is won or lost in the gym.”
Rajeev’s physiologist has noticed a sharp increase in his lung capacity and lean muscle mass, both of which the professional speller hopes to leverage for a rematch against 12 year old Ananya Vinay. While most Scripps hopefuls have been studying word origins, few have focused on the physical aspect of conditioning quite like Rajeev.
“I’m coming for that title,” Rajeev told reporters at a pre-season press conference. “It doesn’t matter if we’re talking free weights, cardio, plyometrics, sparring—no one has put in more work than me.”
At the time of publication, Rajeev had enlisted former IBF boxing champion and trainer Robert Garcia to push his spelling to the next level.