Rumors of world record time beaten in training by a Canadian at Speed Cards

Hello memory athletes,

As the 2019 Canadian Memory Championship is about to take place, this Sept. 1, in Toronto (Greater Toronto Area) I have been informed -as the competition director- that one of the registered contestants living in Canada has beaten -by a couple of seconds- in training the Official Speed Cards world record, which I believe now stands at 12.74 seconds.

In the 8 years of the past Canadian Memory Championship, I have only once before received notice that we may expect a world record level of performance. The last time it was at 15 min Words and the contestant failed to achieve the expected score of 400 words by a wide margin.

It is common to have overly high expectations the first time around in a competition and so I do not anticipate a new world record will be set at Speed Cards at the 2019 Canadian Memory Championship. Nevertheless, I thought I should make a mention of it in the unlikely event that this does occur. If it happens and I didn’t warn anyone about this possibility then it may be regarded as a failure on my part to get people ready for something improbable but apparently perhaps possible.

I will not identify the contestant in question so as not to put extra pressure on him or her just as I will not identidied the other contestant who once planned a world record level of performance at Words and failed.

Even Memory Champions sometimes fail the first time around. Canadian Memory Champion Ezequiel believed he would win the title in 2017 but had to try it again the next year to put his hands on that title.

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That sounds great!

However, I would be surprised if the Speed Cards record hasn’t been broken hundreds of times in training. In training you have unlimited attempts; in competition you only have two, and the pressure is on! My best time in training was much better than anything I ever managed in competition.

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Right, namesake.

However, I feel pretty sure that there hasn’t been 100’s of people who have beaten the Speed Cards World Record in training. It would be mostly the same people that achieve this again and again. Perhaps fewer than 20 people have achieved this at one time.

I hadn’t informed the memory community last time that I was informed of the possible world record at Words. The reason was that our words in Canada have been considered easier by some in the past, and there may be some truth to this. And so I felt the possible world record would not cause that much of a stir in the memory community. Also, cheating at Words is quite easy if you can buy the arbiters and so a world record here isn’t as impressive as a World Record at Speed Cards where you can see the cards being shuffled right in front of the competitor and people can witness the whole thing.

So now, what is at stake is the darling of the memory tests: Speed Cards. Furthermore, there are more ways in which this is extraordinary but I am not at liberty to say because doing so may help identify the contestant. Even saying this may be saying too much.

I plan to raise the bar for this competition regarding the arbitrating of Speed Cards, just in case. In some ways, I don’t want a world record set here as we don’t have the qualified arbiters to make it “world official” and therefore it would be a loss. But on the other hand I do would like to see such a record being set here as it would certainly help draw considerable media attention to the sport here. Which brings the next question. Should I notify the media of this? I have never met this contestant. It could be a joke on me but my experience suggests to me that this is real.

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I suggest setting up a real qualified arbiters for the next championships, I think its worth it when someone is close to breaking a record. Hope you can do that.

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For someone to break the Speed Cards world record in their first ever championship would be absolutely extraordinary.

Hopefully you can video the attempts.

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My phone’s memory is almost full. I would need a new phone to video this myself … I am thinking of getting upgrading to a new Motorola g7 . I think that should have enough space.

There may be a videoman present but in my experience, if you want a video then just do it yourself… I do have a mini table tripod for phones…

It is crazy to make all such preparations for something that will almost certainly not happen but I think it’s better to be crazy than to be sorry. LOL.

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If you get a thumb drive you could probably move some of the things on the phone to the thumb drive on a computer, at least temporarily.

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I just got news of some backtracking. The person cannot do it now but might be able by competition day. It sounds less serious now.

Still, what is taking space on my phone are the apps and the photos. Saving each file by uploading it on Google Drive and then deleting it would take several hours of work. If you know a fast way to do it, I would pay very much attention to what you have to say and would very much appreciate it.

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If it’s an Android phone, it should be able to automatically sync your photos with Google Drive or the Google Photos app. This link has some instructions. I’d connect with Wi-Fi first so it doesn’t use up any mobile data.

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I just freed 4 GB that way, thanks. Doing this has/will eat up a good chunk of my free 15 MG Google memory but that is not as bad as having to buy a new phone. In the highly unlikely event that a world record is set, I will have it on my phone.

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Well, I’m sorry but I just received an email indicating that the person who was going to attempt a world record time is not going to attend the Canadian Memory Championships this year. Maybe some other time though…

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I hope that won’t stop you from capturing some video/audio of the event. I think that would be interesting to see—especially if we can just meet some of the participants on-camera. Like: “Hi, I’m __________ from _____________ and I’m really hoping to do well in speed cards this year” or something like that.

I realize that’s asking for a lot—and for nothing in return. I just think that kind of video would hold more inherent interest for the rest of us than the typical TV news reports that think a memory competition requires showing rows of people silently hunched over tables…

Bob

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Rob,
It would be great if someone was there to do that. I expect not to have time for this. Also, I am not particularly tech savy. Where would I upload this? I have a hard time uploading stuff on you tube…

For a world record I would find a way to get it out but for the kind of interview you suggest, hum, I would wonder if it is worth the trouble.

Yet, I have made a few interviews last year after the competitions so maybe I’ll try and get some words on video from the winners. Thanks for the suggestion.

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Sorry, I think maybe you misunderstood what I was suggesting. I had in mind five minutes of meeting some of the attendees, saying only what I suggested earlier—who they were, where they were from, what they were looking forward to. It’s nothing that can’t be done on and uploaded from a phone. So maybe another attendee would be willing. I just thought it would be a fun way to get a general sense of the competition…and it seemed really easy to do—especially since you had already mentioned making a video.

Bob

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Rob,
Phones are distracting. I noticed that when I do anything active with my phone for the far away audience, it saps or risks sapping my attention away a bit for a while and sometimes quite a bit.

I know about this due to dayly experimentation with memory tests. So, since I think that going around and actively engaging memory athletes for a far away audience through a phone, even for 5 minutes, would be both distracting for me and the memory athletes. So, I think it would be best to ignore your request, or do as I suggest, after the competition.

I had a CBC reporter once coming to memory workshops that I organize and he/she informed the memory group that he/she had received awards for some journalistic reports she had made but the event itself was forgotten by him/her.

So, I am growing a bit fearful of doing reporting for some unknown audience far away, but we will see what I can do. I do need picture so there will be something for sure.

Okay, I’m apparently not explaining myself well at all!

I just thought you could get a couple minutes of video as people arrive, register, and are just milling about. That happens at conventions all the time; I just assumed there’d be a similar time during a memory competition before anything started.

And it wouldn’t be for a “far away” audience. It’d be for us. :slight_smile:

Bob

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As a Canadian I find the desire to apologize. I have no reason to apologize but I am Canadian.

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Hi Bob,
At first I thought well, that sounds fine but then I thought of the people who have requested not to have their picture put up online. Yes, some people are like that.

We do warn contestants that the place will be public and they may be photographed by repoeters but some people don’t want us to use their photo on our website and I don’t want to piss off anyone for that. In other words, I am not the right person to ask for this, sorry.

@RMBittner Have a look here: