Natalia Chen won’t be running, jumping or swimming at this Olympics but she’s still hoping to bring home a gold medal.
The 16-year-old St Cuthbert’s College student has been selected to represent New Zealand at the International Mathematical Olympiad in Colombia this July.
Natalia is one of six students and the only girl chosen after a rigorous selection process that involved a training camp where 24 students participated in problem-solving activities, lectures and sat an exam.
It is the second consecutive year Natalia has represented New Zealand in this competition. In the 2012 Olympiad in Argentina, she was the highest scoring New Zealand team member and won a bronze medal. Like this year, she was also the only female on the team.
Being part of this team adds to a list of mathematical honours for Natalia including third place at the 2012 Eton Press Senior Mathematics Competition and a ‘Distinguished’ award at last year’s Australian Mathematics Competition. On top of this, Natalia is also a talented musician.
The New Zealand Mathematical Olympiad Committee was established in 1986 and has sent teams to the International Olympiad since 1988. In those 22 years the New Zealand teams have won 1 gold, 4 silver and 33 bronze medals. The committee’s objective is to raise the level of motivation, enjoyment and achievement in mathematics.