When thinking about celebrity sportspeople, we oftentimes go to athletes like Serena Williams or Lebron James, but every spring a very different kind of sporting champ graces ESPN and various TV shows. The Scripps National Spelling Bee (which started as a promotional event in 1925) somehow made its way into the professional sports industry—thanks to its first airing on ESPN in 1994. Full of suspense, drama, and sometimes fainting, tears and tantrums, it has plenty in common with traditional sports and yet it’s entirely different. Read more about how teenage spelling enthusiasts became athletes at The Outline.
How Spelling Became a Sport