More than 575 competitors coming from 37 countries descended upon Las Vegas this past weekend for the 2013 Rubik’s Cube World Championship at the Riviera Hotel & Casino. At the end of the three-day speedcubing event, where some of the world’s best Rubik’s Cube solvers competed in 17 classic and non-traditional official cubing events, a winner was crowned.
Feliks Zemdegs of Australia was crowned this World Champion at this year’s Rubik’s Cube World Championship by solving the 3×3 cube with a winning time of 8.18 seconds; he also won the top spot in the 4×4 Rubik’s Cube and the One Handed 3×3 Rubik’s Cube competitions (one-handed!?!?!).
Along with the top honors, Zemdegs also received a trophy, a selection of Rubik’s Cube prizes, and $3,000 in prize money, which from the looks of it was given to him in stacks of $2 bills, which I really dig (I’m a big fan of the $2 bill).
Mats Valk of the Netherlands, who currently holds the world record for the fastest single solve in 5.55 seconds, was a close 2nd place in the 3×3 Rubik’s Cube competition with an average time of 8.65 seconds. Sebastian Weyer of Germany finished 3rd with an average time of 8.86 seconds. The fastest competitor from the United States was Andy Smith, with an average time of 9.73 seconds. The Americans, well, they didn’t come in at the top this year, though the United States did lead the weekend’s overall medal count by earning 14 total medals, including 6 gold, 4 silver, and 4 bronze. Australia and Poland followed close behind the U.S. in the medal count. Yes, apparently, they give out medals for this.
If you’re wondering what other speedsolving events were held in this weekend, I have a list and I’m not afraid to use it. Here it is, folks. It gets a little kinky though, there’s a whole “blindfolded” category. I really shouldn’t joke like that, considering from what I can see from the bright-eyed, acned young faces in the photos I saw, there was no one over 18 competing.
I love Rubik’s Cube, I really do. I’m old enough where I can say I remember when they first came out and every kid had one. I had the regular-sized cube, a mini-cube, and even a tiny one on my keychain. I spent countless hours trying to solve that thing. I recall being so proud of myself when I figured out how to solve one side, and eventually two sides, but that’s it, I could never do all sides. And I’d look at all those math nerds who could solve the whole thing in no time and I’d hate them and I’d hate myself. But alas, that was long ago and I’m all grown up now and I don’t resent these happy, talented youngsters who can solve the cube in mere seconds in many different scenarios not one bit! No, really I’m happy for them. Congrats to this year’s winners. Stay gold!