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Winners - World Champions

Geography Challenge 1995
Team Canada
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National Geographic World Championship 1995
Date: July 1995
Location: Orlando, FL, USA
Team Canada: Russ Sharpe, Robin Bates, Costa Markessinis and Cameron Barr

The Big Finish
Even the threat of Hurricane Erin, which battered Florida in July, didn't disturb the poise of Team Canada at the International Geography Olympiad held in Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. The unflappable Canadians took the bronze medal, while Australia won the gold and the United Kingdom earned silver. All three teams edged out competitors from the United States and Russia in the preliminary round.

Team Canada — (from left) Russ Sharpe, Robin Bates, Costa Markessinis and Cameron Barr — celebrates after the International Geography Olympiad. (Photo: Walt Disney World)
Cameron Barr, of St. Albert, Alta.; Costa Markessinis, of Laval, Que.; Robin Bates, of Wolfville, N.S.; and Russ Sharpe, of Kamloops, B.C. made up the first Canadian contingent to enter the International Olympiad. All four qualified for the international competition by winning the Great Canadian Geography Challenge in May in Ottawa (see CG, July/August '95, p. 73).

The Canadian group achieved the top score on the first day of competition, which included an orienteering exercise around the Epcot Centre and a written test on various aspects of geography. In the finals, competitors were quizzed by Alex Trebek, host of the TV game show Jeopardy! and moderator for the Canadian Challenge.

Plans are already in the works for next year's Canadian event, with the national finals scheduled for May 18 to 20 in Ottawa.

— Elizabeth Shilts, Canadian Geographic Sept/Oct 1995

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