Vanya Shivashankar (Age- 13)

Appearing for the fifth and final time before the Spelling Bee, Vanya is eighth grader student from Kansas. She previously competed in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in 2010, 2012 (tied for 10th place), 2013 (tied for 5th place) and 2014 (tied for 13th place).

"This is a dream come true. I have wanted this for such a long time," Vanya said while dedicating the award to her grandmother who passed away in October last year.

In addition to acting, Vanya also plays tuba and piano. She recently won the Mid-America Music Association award for exceptional pianist and jazz pianist.
    
Vanya's older sister, Kavya, had won the Scripps National Spelling Bee 2009 championship.

Gokul Venkatachalam (Age- 14)

    
An eighth grader from St Louis Missouri, Gokul, said he had worked hard for the contest for the past several years. He takes to spelling like his idol LeBron James does to basketball.
    
In addition to playing basketball, Gokul is a fan of rap and alternative music, counting among his favourite artists Nas, Linkin Park and Macklemore. When he does not listen music, he reads — his top pick is Life of Pi — or watches his favourite movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past.

In his previous appearances, Gokul tied for the 10th place in 2012 and bagged 19th place in 2013. At school, Gokul is drawn to math and economics.
    
He dreams of attending Stanford University and studying business so that he can become an entrepreneur or a stockbroker.

Read More: Indian-American kids sweep Spelling Bee contest

Latest News from India News Desk