East Germany, Stuyvesant High School, United States discussed on Experts on Expert with Dax Shepard


Silver medal, there's all this new stuff about how people who win silver often have big bouts of depression that the people. Who Win bronze are happy and that Gold's happy but silver for some reason comes with some baggage Oh God no just the opposite. Oh good. This was nineteen seventy four. I was on the stuyvesant high school math team. You know that was a big deal stuyvesant high school didn't have big athletic teams but we had a great math team and so you know I've been on it since I was a freshman I ended up being the captain of the math team my senior year, which was like way. Cool. But it was my junior year is the first year the United States participated in the International Mathematical Olympiad which was a Soviet bloc competition that the US had never been in before and In the middle of the Cold War I gotta say the United, States was very worried about sending a team to East Germany to compete with the Russians the and the Hungarians were very good mathematicians and they were afraid we were going to embarrass the country a hollow. To this camp to prepare for the Olympics that was held in New Jersey, and then we flew over to east. Germany went through checkpoint, Charlie. We didn't have diplomatic relations with Germany at the time which made it even more exciting and we went down to city airport in Germany, for the competition and I'll just digress and say we hit it off amazingly well with the Russians because there were the other superpower. It was East Germany and they knew that they own the joint and they couldn't get in trouble. So. We go up on top of buildings with them and throw water balloons down into traffic because the Russians told us you know no way. Can you get in trouble where here and so? To a great. And, we ended up finishing second to the Russians and ahead of the Hungarians who are the legendary mathematicians of Europe. So we didn't embarrass the United States good and we came home. So I think the important lesson here is the expectations were very low..

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