Things That Matter

This 11-Year-Old Brings Home The Gold At International Math Competition Making Mexico Very Proud

Math… Let’s be honest, it’s not a subject that many of us were excited about learning back in school.

But one math expert – an 11-year-old from Mexico – just made his country extremely proud by bringing home the gold medal at this year’s International Mathematics Competition for the second time in Mexico’s history.

11-year-old Rodrigo Saldívar Mauricio brings the gold back to Mexico at International Mathematics Competition.

For the second year in a row, Mexico brings home the gold from the International Mathematics Competition. This time the champion is 11-year-old Rodrigo Saldívar, a student from the town of Fresnillo, Zacatecas, who is in grade six.

At his school (Escuela Beatriz González Ortega), he has excelled in different math subjects which led to him be selected as part of the Mexican delegation. Thanks to his extreme math knowledge, he won the top spot in the individual elementary leg of the competition, which was held from July 27 through August 1.

This year’s International Mathematics Competition was hosted by Indonesia but was held remotely – thanks to the ongoing pandemic – allowing students to compete at home via Zoom. Rodrigo’s win marks the second time in a row a student from Mexico has taken the top prize in the individual elementary category of the competition.

Last year the IMC was canceled because of the pandemic, but in 2019 the competition was held in South Africa. It was then that Mexican student Mateo Iván Latapí Acosta brought home the gold medal for the elementary school competition to Mexico.

Rodrigo competed against hundreds of students.

The International Mathematics Competition has teams competing from both elementary and high schools from around the world. Then the elementary or “primary” group is further broken down into both individual competitions and team competitions. At this year’s IMC, there were 304 elementary grade students competing. And the students represented schools from more than 30 countries.

This year, Mexico was represented by two high school teams and two elementary school teams. Between both the individual and team events, in total, 16 Mexican students medaled at this year’s competition: Rodrigo’s gold plus four silver medals and nine bronze medals and the country was also awarded an honorable mention.

It was back in 2010 when Mexico first competed at the IMC’s high school level competition. But 2021 marked only the fourth time that students from Mexico have competed at the ‘primary’ level. However, with the wins in 2019 and 2021, competition organizers have dubbed the country an “emerging mathematical powerhouse.”

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