Video: Oklahoma boy dodges mom’s kiss after finishing 3rd in National Spelling Bee

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

NORMAN, Okla. – A 14-year-old boy from Oklahoma finished third in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Cole Shafer-Ray, an eighth-grader at Alcott Middle School made it through nine rounds before being knocked out in the 10th round.

He misspelled the word “acritarch” by one letter, spelling it “acrotarch.”

Cole took to Twitter to claim Jacques Bailly, the contest’s official pronouncer, pronounced the word wrong.

Cole received a lot of attention on social media during the Bee.

One ESPN reporter tweeted about Cole’s “bee inspired” kicks by Under Armour, prompting Under Armour to retweet the image.

And when Cole’s mom went to give him a kiss on the cheek after being eliminated, he did what any 14-year-old boy would do and tried to dodge her.

Cole also received some attention for changing one of the staples of the Spelling Bee.

Many contestants are seen tracing the letters on the back of their name tags, but Cole changed it up a bit.

He proved what a true millennial he is by mimicking typing the words as he spelled.

This was Cole’s third and final appearance in the Bee.


Report a typo


Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.