“Going from 10th to ninth is like jumping from the top of a building to another building. But going from third to first is more like jumping from a building to a rocket ship. You would need a trampoline and a pogo stick.”

— Srinath Mahankali, the 9-year-old brother of Arvind Mahankali, assessing his older sibling’s chances of winning the National Spelling Bee after three frustrating years as a near runner-up. Arvind finally won last night — thanks to the word “knaidel” — and Grantland has delivered exactly the probing behind-the-scenes profile of the new champ and his journey that you have wanted to read. It is the sports story of the year. Read it: Arvind’s Last Stand: A Long-Awaited Win at the Scripps National Spelling Bee


Srinath and Arvind after the winning word. (Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty Images)

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