This teen is the new world Rubik's Cube champ
Most of us have never been able to complete a Rubik’s Cube. It can take a lot of time and be very frustrating, so though the 1974 puzzle can be a fun pastime, we end up tossing it aside, green squares mixed in with white and blue mixed in with red. In fact, rumor has it that Hungarian architect Ernő Rubik, the inventor of the Cube, took a month to solve his own invention. But for one teen in Brazil, a Rubik’s cube is no challenge. In fact, two days ago, that teen won a world championship by completing a Rubik’s cube in less than six seconds. Yeah, NBD.
On Sunday, The Rubik’s Cube World Championship took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where hundreds of “speedcubers” (yes, that’s what they’re called, according to NPR) from 40 different countries competed to see who could complete the colorful puzzle the fastest. First held in 1982, the championship now draws competitors and spectators in from all over the world. The victor was 19-year-old Feliks Zemdegs from Australia, who completed his Rubik’s Cube in 5.69 seconds. That’s right: at just the age of 19, Feliks, pictured below, has become a world champion. . . oh, and for the second time.
“Because I won last time, I was sort of less nervous this time . . . so that sort of helped a little bit,” Feliks told Reuters.
Feliks was less than half-a-second short of beating the world record currently held by American Collin Burns from earlier this year. That’s some speedy cubing! “It’s a crazy feeling as a parent to have him mobbed by so many fans,” Feliks’s mom, Rita, told NPR. “It’s hilarious. He doesn’t get much rest.”
The competition has various different categories in which you can compete. The 3×3 category with nine squares per face, which is what Feliks competed in, is traditional and “gold standard,” according to NPR. However, there are also categories involving larger cubes and pyramid cubes. Some categories even involve completing the puzzle blindfolded or with your feet — the latter of which has been done in just 20.57 seconds by Jakub Kipa in Poland.
‘The competition was really, really awesome, well-run,” Feliks told Reuters. “The venue was really nice, [and] all the people were really nice.”
Though Feliks is certainly a young competitor at age 19, he’s certainly not the youngest. Little Yani Chan, pictured below, is only four years old and can barely even speak clearly, yet she is able to complete the puzzle in an incredibly low time, according to NPR (watch a video of her amazing skills here!).
“I think the ideal age is between 16 and 23, I guess,” 21-year-old competitor Kevin Hays told NPR. “I started when I was 14. It’s really easy to get into, as everyone knows the Rubik’s Cube, and it’s a really cool thing. And if you want to solve it faster, it’s even cooler.”
As someone who’s never even come close to completing a Rubik’s Cube in my life, I’m pretty blown away by these amazingly talented teens who are putting their skills to the test. Congratulations, Feliks, on your totally rad speedcubing! You rock our colorful, geometric socks. Watch Feliks’s awesome skills below and be prepared to be totally impressed!
(Images via YouTube.)