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Carrying the torch

Ken Jennings Posted by Ken Jennings.

Ken Jennings, Ph.D. is a senior partner at VentureWorks and a managing partner at Third River Partners, a consultancy that specializes in leadership development and strategy execution.

Carrying the torch

I’m off to Greece this week for the inaugural Quiz Olympiad. (Cue NBC Olympics anthem! But only in your head so we don’t get sued.) Here’s the press release I just got sent about the event. Wish us luck!

Team USA competing at Quiz Olympiad, Nov. 3 – 6 in Athens, Greece

Author and Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings is captain of Quiz Team USA

Boulder CO, October 28, 2016: Author and game show champion Ken Jennings has been named captain of the American team by the USA Chapter of the International Quizzing Association (iQa). He will lead a group of 16 trivia players, academics, and other know-it-alls to take on adversaries from across the globe at the Quiz Olympiad in Athens, Greece during November 3rd – 6th, 2016.

The national team includes Shane & Lee-Ann Whitlock of Arkansas; Les Chun, Raj Dhuwalia, Julie Ghanbari, Tanay Kothari, Mark Ryder, and Kathryn Verwillow of California; David Legler of Illinois; Tim Polley of Mississippi; Chris Goheen of Pennsylvania; Jean Cui and Brandon Saunders of New York; and Ed Toutant of Texas. Ken Jennings represents the state of Washington, and Paul Bailey of Colorado is the team manager. Members of the team hold a variety of advanced academic degrees, are champions as individuals or on teams from a variety of quiz & trivia competitions, and have won a combined total of over $8 million on television game shows.

The Olympiad will see individuals and teams from 26 nations answering questions in categories including business, culture, entertainment, film, geography, history, lifestyle, literature, media, performing & visual arts, science, sport, and technology. “I always have a great time when I get to attend one of these international quizzing events, mostly because I love the idea that trivia is a noble, global pursuit. Quizzing should absolutely have its own Olympiad, with all the attendant pomp and prestige and geopolitical pressure and wild shenanigans in the ‘Olympic Village.’ I wouldn’t miss this for the world,” said Jennings. All Team USA members will compete in individual, pairs, and four-member squad events. The top USA squad will be Jennings, Dhuwalia, Ryder, and S. Whitlock. The top USA age 30 and under (30U) squad will be Cui, Kothari, Polley, and Saunders.

The Quiz Olympiad will be the largest and most diverse competition of its kind ever, with players from all over the world contesting titles and participating head-to-head for the first time. Since 2003, the International Quizzing Association has organized a variety of events worldwide to stimulate mental competition at the local, regional, national and international level. The next World Quizzing Championships take place at over 200 locations across the globe including 20+ locations in the USA on Saturday, June 2, 2017 (see www.worldquizzing.com). The next Trivia Championships of North America (TCONA) take place August 4-6, 2017 in Las Vegas, NV (see www.tcona.com).