Australia places 3rd at EGMO and takes home 4 gold medals!

In its 5th year participating at the European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO), the 2022 Australian EGMO team of Grace Chang Yuan, Cloris Xu, Eunsu Choi, and Iris Xu have truly outdone themselves. With scores placing them 6th, 12th, 15th and 20th individually out of 222 contestants. Each one of them has brought home a highly coveted gold medal and contributed to Australia’s incredible 3rd place among 57 teams from Europe and around the world!

Furthermore, the fiendishly difficult problem 6 of the 2022 EGMO was one proposed by Australia. Created by Ethan Tan, a former International Mathematical Olympiad gold medallist from 2018, those who knew his style might suspect the existence of an elusive black magic solution. The problems and solutions for both papers of the 2022 EGMO can be found on the official home page.

For this year’s Australian EGMO team it has been a long, somewhat isolated, online road to get to this point. Indeed, throughout their several years of training, the four team members have only met at online schools and training sessions, but never in person (except for sisters Cloris and Iris of course). Most of their contests and practice exams have been supervised over Zoom too!

It was hard not to be envious of the near 40 teams participating on site in Eger, Hungary. But it was nice getting a sneak peek into their adventures via photos and videos posted on the EGMO 2022 Facebook page. A fantastic video of EGMO 2022 highlights was also shown at the start of the closing ceremony.

Nevertheless, we were certainly grateful that EGMO 2022 was held as a hybrid event and that we were able to participate from afar. It did mean sitting each 4.5 hour contest paper from 4:30pm to 9:00pm, at home, on a Friday and Saturday night, and gathering at 1:15am for the live closing ceremony, but there were no complaints.

It wasn’t just us who missed out on meeting new friends, seeing new sights and tasting new sensations in Hungary, our team mascot FLT did too! Still, we got some Kürtősh and other Hungarian treats to enjoy and to get in the spirit of EGMO 2022.

After a long weekend of marking and coordinating results for the six contest problems, the Australian contingent — Thanom Shaw [Team Leader], Sally Tsang [Deputy Team Leader], Grace He and Claire Huang [both Observers with the Deputy Team Leader], along with the 2022 EGMO team gathered online.

We looked at the puzzles and problems of ‘Mission Venus’ and ‘Exiquiz’ created by the EGMO organisers and played some suggested online games. And it was lovely to be able to chat and debrief as the scoreboard updated live and the rankings and medal cut-offs became increasingly clear.

At 5:15pm CEST / 1:15am AEST it was time to gather for the closing ceremony and celebrate EGMO 2022 and the incredible achievements of all participants from around the globe!

It was also time to get pumped for the next EGMO, announced to be held in Portorož, Slovenia in April 2023. While outgoing Team Leader, Thanom Shaw, will be cheering from afar with her almost 1 year old daughter by her side, there is every hope that the Australian team will once again be in Europe, clipping on those mini koalas to anyone and everyone and spreading some much-missed Aussie cheer.