Voice 1: A seventeen-year-old from the Mid-western state of Wisconsin has beaten all rivals to be officially crowned America’s fastest texter. Austin Weirschke won the title in New York in the exciting final of the nationwide search to find the king or queen of texters.
Voice 2: Austin became America’s top texter for the second time in two years when he knocked nine other whiz kids out at the annual US National Texting Championships.
Voice 1: New York’s Times Square was packed with onlookers, relatives and texting addicts all cheering on the favourites as the final moved into the thrilling duel between Austin and sixteen year old Kent Augustine.
Voice 1: The two boys shook hands before the last bout. Then it was thumbs at the ready and eyes down as the finalists were given their final texting tasks.
Voice 2: The NTC attracts thousands of entrants of all ages from all four corners of America and it is tough to get to the last round in New York. Competitors have to do straight forward texting, translating text speak like LOL into proper English, and memorising snippets of dialogue and texting them as fast as possible.
Voice 1: As the rounds progress, the tasks get harder. Competitors have to spell out words backwards, compose texts wearing dark glasses so they can’t see the keyboard, and text as much of a given nursery rhyme in forty-five seconds as they can. In one of the tests, they have to text blindfold. Competitors fall like flies in this last bit of the competition until only two remain.
Voice 2: Austin says that on average he sends five hundred texts a day to family and friends. Yes, five hundred! The National Texting Championship tests accuracy, speed and dexterity, and Austin is top of the class at all three of these essential texting skills.
Voice 1: Like all serious sportsmen and women, the Wisconsin Wonder has a trainer, and this honour falls to his mum. And she is a strict taskmistress. In his acceptance speech, Austin praised his mum for her coaching and admitted that he would not have won the competition without her dedication to his training.
Voice 2: Austin has put the fifty thousand dollars he won last year and his present winnings, along with the money he is earning from media attention, into a special fund to pay for his university education.
Voice 1: Who says that texting is a waste of time and effort? For one clever American teen it has been a fun but challenging way of funding his education and becoming a bit of a celebrity along the way.
Voice 2: Austin Weirschke may officially be America’s fastest texter but he says that there is still room for improvement. Get those thumbs moving! There is hope for us all. Who knows who will snatch Austin’s crown at the next texting Olympics?