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Winner gets media attention

Two days ago, few people would recognize Sukanya Roy.

That was before the 14-year-old South Abington Township resident took home the top prize at the 84th Scripps National Spelling Bee.

On Thursday, Roy spelled the word “cymotrichous,” meaning wavy-haired, correctly to win the contest, and since, her smiling face has appeared in newspapers around the nation and on nationally-televised news programs.

She has become, for now at least, a household face.

A small flock of media outlets has lined up to interview Roy in the next few days.

Roy was interviewed by Fox News on Friday afternoon. On Monday, she will appear on the nationally-syndicated daytime talk show Live! With Regis & Kelly and she is scheduled to appear on the Jimmy Kimmel Live program on ABC the following evening.

Corrie Loeffler, program manager of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, said it’s normal and natural for the spelling bee winner to captivate public attention in the days following the contest.

“It’s always just such an impressive accomplishment, so I think that people are reminded for a few days of the way that going after your goals can pay off,” she said.

“It’s really become more than ever a part of everyone’s consciousness rather than just a niche thing,” Loeffler continued. “It’s something that everyone has a story about, whether it’s the national bee or just in their old classroom spelling bee and the word that they missed. It’s really become part of the national consciousness.”

Legislators at the state and federal level have also taken note of Roy’s accomplishment.

Gov. Tom Corbett congratulated Roy for her perseverance in a statement Friday.

“Sukanya Roy’s hard-won victory is a testament to the power of determination and a refusal to quit,” Corbett said. “This marked her third trip to the National Spelling Bee, and Pennsylvanians everywhere are proud of our national champion and her achievement.”

Roy tied for 12th place in the 2009 National Spelling Bee and finished 20th last year.

Corbett also congratulated Pennsylvania resident, Joanna Ye, of Carlisle, Cumberland County, who finished third.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Zionsville, also extended his congratulations.

“I wish Sukanya the best of luck in her future, and I hope her victory will inspire our students to pursue academic excellence,” Toomey said.

U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, R-Lycoming Township, also called Roy Friday, Marino spokeswoman Renita Fennick said.

Marino plans to invite Roy on a tour of the Capitol Building, and to have her name entered in the Congressional Record, Fennick added.

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