Pint-Sized Phenoms: Amazing at 7 months & 17 years

Have you seen these amazing kids? Let's start with the youngest, at 7 months, Ryder Blair. While I understand why some would respond negatively (like he should be wearing a helmet, etc.), as a mom I understand being astonished by what your child can do. Check out this video of Ryder "waterskiiing!"

While Ryder got a lot of attention, a group of middle schoolers dominated kids and competition headlines in the US the past few weeks with the Scripps Spelling Bee, National Geographic Bee, and Raytheon MathCounts Competition all occurring within a few weeks of one another. In these contests 13-year-old Arvind Mahankai won along with 12-year-old Sathwick Karnik and 14-year-old Alec Sun.

Not to be forgotten are high schoolers, especially athletes. I found the stories of these three young women to be especially extraordinary. 15-year-old Charlotte Brown and 17-year-old Aria Ottmueller are legally blind, but that isn't stopping them from pursuing pole vaulting in their home states of Texas and Arizona.

Charlotte Brown pole vaulting by Rex C. Curry for the NYT

Another impressive 15-year-old I read about recently is Nancy Mulkey, also from Texas. At 6' 9" it might seem obvious that she would be a basketball player, but Mulkey has worked hard to improve her skills, earning her a spot on USA basketball's U16 team. I bet she could waterski and pole vault pretty well too-- though unclear that spelling and geography would be her thing.

This group of kids shows that no matter your interest, skill, or age, if you work hard you can distinguish yourself as a phenom in some way.