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Student of HSE Lyceum Wins Bronze at European Geography Olympiad

Danila Gavrilov, All-Russian School Olympiad

Danila Gavrilov, All-Russian School Olympiad

The 8th European Geography Olympiad took place in Serbia at the end of June. The results of the competition were announced individually in two age categories: the senior group (16–19 years old) and the junior group (12–15). The Russian team won three gold, two silver and three bronze medals. One of the bronze medal winners was Danila Gavrilov, student of the HSE Lyceum.

The European Geography Olympiad was first held in 2015. Its main aim is to foster interest in geographical and ecological studies among young people and to highlight the importance of geography as a science. Participants of the competition must complete tasks in English, including written and multimedia tests and a field trip.

Danila Gavrilov, a tenth-grade student of the HSE Lyceum and a member of the Russian team in the 16–19 age group, won a bronze medal. It was Danila’s second bronze victory in the competition, having won one last year as a member of the junior team.

Danila explains that he has been interested in the field since he was a child, as his mother is a geographer. ‘Our family travels a lot, and even when I started school I was learning flags and capitals,’ he recalls. ‘I first decided to test my knowledge in olympiads in 2021. I managed to finish with a certificate from the final stage of the All-Russian School Olympiad in Geography.’ This year, Danila was once again a prizewinner of the school olympiad, and went to Belgrade as a member of the Russian senior team.

‘The qualifiers for the 2023 European Geography Olympiad lasted a year. Based on the results, I made it onto the main team. The most difficult aspect was that it took place entirely in English. I needed to learn a lot of specialised terms. But the team coaches prepared us well for the tasks and the format. I spent a lot of time preparing individually too. My friends and family supported me and were always there for me, which helped a lot,’ he explains.

The most interesting part of this year’s competition in Serbia turned out to be the field trip. ‘We went to the Avala mountain and were given a tour. We learned about the history of the mountain and the TV tower there, as well as the geological and biogeographical features of the area. Then we went to an auditorium where we had to answer questions on the location based on our own knowledge, our mathematical skills, and the observations we made during the excursion,’ Danila explains.

Danila now hopes to improve his result in the olympiad. ‘But the main reward was being able to take a trip to such a large-scale event,’ he says. ‘And as a two-time prizewinner of the All-Russian School Olympiad, I already have the opportunity to apply to university without entrance exams.’

Danila enrolled in the HSE Lyceum last year. ‘I like learning there. The atmosphere is friendly, the teachers are wonderful, and the individual curriculum lets me devote more time to preparing for the geography olympiad,’ he reveals. In the future, Danila plans to study geography at HSE University and pursue a career in socioeconomic geography.

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