2017 IAM World Memory Championship Recap

WMC No. 3! I’m home after three long weeks—a Florida wedding followed by the 2017 IAM World Memory Championship in Jakarta, Indonesia. I can’t resist giving a shoutout to my friends Saumya and Khush for an awesome wedding week. Those guys know how to throw a party! After five days in Palm Beach, Cathy and I hopped back in a plane trying not to think about how we’d be spending the next 50+ hours traveling. Fort Lauderdale to Memphis, to our hometown of Oxford for a night, back to Memphis, to Atlanta, to Tokyo, to Jakarta. A slew of Silicon Valley, Modern Family, and Last Week Tonight episodes later, we were riding through the hot Indonesian night with fellow American competitor John Graham, Mongolian competitor Yanjaa Wintersoul, and WMC organizers Yudi and Bey. After two days of milling around the city—seeing the National Monument and an Indonesian puppet show, among other things—I found myself face-to-face with another WMC. Things were destined to be different...

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My Episode of Superhuman Airs Tomorrow Night!

Last year I was lucky enough to take part in the second episode of Superhuman, which will be airing tomorrow night at 8 pm central! I do a solo challenge alongside 4 other contestants doing their own unique challenges, and then the judges and audience pick a winner. It was pretty amazing. Cathy and I got to meet Mike Tyson and Christina Milian! I'll keep the challenge a surprise, but if you're interested, check it out tomorrow night 9/8c on Fox!

If you missed it, you can check out the memorization part of my challenge on YT already (see video below).

You can now watch the full episode (S01E02) at this link. My challenge starts around 30:46.

Flash Profile with Chinese Memory Athlete Su Zehe

Chinese memory athlete Su Zehe just won the 2017 Philippine Open and broke the world record in the IAM's new 5 minute images event. I had the fortune of meeting him at the 2016 World Memory Championship in Singapore and again in Nanjing for the The Brain TV show. I had a chance to do a short interview (more of a flash profile) with him in Nanjing. Hope you enjoy!

At the 2016 World Memory Championship in Singapore. Left to right: me, Huang Shenghua, and Su Zehe.

At the 2016 World Memory Championship in Singapore. Left to right: me, Huang Shenghua, and Su Zehe.

Name: 苏泽河, Su Zehe (Su1 Ze2He2)

Recent competition results: 2017 Philippine Open – 1st place (full results here), 2016 World Memory Championship – 3rd place (full results here).

Rank: world #9, national (China) #1

You can read Su Zehe’s full IAM profile here.

From: a Southeast province of China, close to Taiwan

Intro to memory sports: came across a book about memory techniques in high school; interest was again piqued by watching memory athletes on the Chinese TV show 最强大脑 (“The Brain”).

Su Zehe was himself a contestant on the show this season. You can watch his challenge here. You can find his Weibo page here (although you will need a Weibo account to view).

Career interests/hobbies: interested in working for a memory company; likes practicing magic.

Training tools/history: practices mostly on paper; will occasionally use the Chinese Extreme Memory website (which had an online competition this past year), although not very often; trained alongside Zheng Aiqiang (world #17); will often communicate with other Chinese memory athletes via WeChat groups.

Systems: 2-digit/1-card, 2 images/locus, similar to the majority of Chinese competitors.

A Brief Summary of Lifestyle Habits

I recently received a question about my lifestyle habits (re: exercise, sleep, meditation, diet, etc.), so I wanted to post a brief answer here. I'm often asked if I take supplements, so I've included that as well. Hopefully I'll get around to writing something more detailed, but for now here's a (very) brief summary:

I wouldn't say my lifestyle goals have changed since starting memory sports, although my involvement has given me extra motivation to stick to them. My approach is pretty basic. Nothing ground-breaking. I try to exercise daily--a combination of weights, cardio, and calisthenics. I shoot for 7.5+ hours of sleep. I meditate 10-20 minutes per day with the Headspace app. I don't keep a strict diet, but I try to eat a lot of vegetables and fish. I take one NOW DHA-500 capsule each day; this is the only supplement I take. I avoid soda and sugary drinks.

For more about my memory training schedule, see "What is your training schedule like?" on the Tips page.

You can read about 2x world memory champion Wang Feng's lifestyle habits in our interview here.