UNITED STATES: The 2021 US Memory Championship was held on October 23 in Orlando, Florida at the Rosen JCC. Nelson Dellis, a four-time winner of the United States Memory Championship, won the USAMC Memory Championship for the fifth time after a six-year strike in a row to achieve another win.
The 22nd USAMC Champion holds two current records: Memorizing the most names in 15 minutes (235 names) and Memorizing the most words in 15 minutes (255 words).
What is the USA Memory Championship
The USA Memory Championship is an Official Olympiad for Mental Athletes. Tony Dottino founded the USA Memory Championship in November 1997. In it, United States citizens aged ten or more are eligible to compete for the title in two stages. There are three medals as in any other sports competition: gold, silver, and bronze on an individual basis. Competitions under the USAMC are often teamed up in game development with Lumosity.
2021 USAMC Finals
While the qualifying events were held this year virtually on August 7 on a “pencil and paper” basis, the 22nd annual memory competition final was hosted on October 23 by the JCC Rosen Center and MIT in Orlando.
The games included were split into two categories:
- Lumosity: Rotation Matrix (Pinball Recall game challenging visuospatial and working memory) and Memory Match Overdrive (long-term memory test to memorize 2,500 bits of information in 30 days); and
- Memory League: Names and Faces, Speed Numbers, Words (300 words in 15 minutes), and Images — Double Deck or Bust (5 minutes to memorize the sequence of 2 decks of cards).
As explained by Tony Dottino here, the award is a seahorse. Interestingly, when removed from the human brain, the hippocampus vaguely resembles a seahorse. Hippocampus is a part of the brain that is associated primarily with memory. Although often used in the singular, humans have two hippocampi—one in each cerebral hemisphere.
Who is Nelson Dellis
Nelson Dellis, a five-time United States memory champion and memory grandmaster, is a Miami-based memory coach and one of the world’s leading memory experts. Traveling the world as a competitive memory athlete and consultant, Nelson is also a keynote speaker and published author who prepares resources for teaching memory tricks and practices to a wider audience.
According to his own testimony, his beloved grandmother lost her memories after being affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Her decline was something that shocked Nelson so much that he did his research on memory and started training by himself.
Moving from an “ordinary boy” to an avid activist for Alzheimer’s disease through harsh practice and dedication, Nelson has initiated numerous initiatives worldwide. Founder of the non-profit Climb For Memory, for some years now he has been preaching “a lifestyle that combines mental and physical fitness with proper diet and social involvement” for all people and has climbed numerous peaks around the world for this cause, including three times Mount Everest.
Nelson Dellis’ prominent works
Among many others, Nelson has been featured on the Netflix documentary Memory Games (2019), FOX’s Superhumans, Brain Games, The TODAY Show, Fox and Friends, The Katie Couric Show, CNN.com, ABC Nightline, The Dr. Oz Show, The Science Channel, Nat Geo, SuperBrain China, et al.
Books published by Nelson Dellis
- Memory Superpowers!: An Adventurous Guide to Remembering What You Don’t Want to Forget, 2020
- Remember It!: The Names of People You Meet, All of Your Passwords, Where You Left Your Keys, and Everything Else You Tend to Forget, 2018