Interview with a Memory Expert: 2x World Memory Champion Wang Feng

At only 20-years-old, China's Wang Feng burst onto the memory scene, winning the 2010 World Memory Championship. The first non-European to win, he defended his title in 2011, signaling a cultural shift in the competitive memory world. China had become a new powerhouse in a sport dominated by England and Germany. Although he retired from official competition following his '11 victory, Wang Feng, now 27, has remained active, teaching and repeatedly appearing on China's #1 TV Show, The Brain. I had the recent fortune of competing with him on the show. Here's an interview I conducted with him shortly thereafter. I hope you enjoy!

2010年,年仅二十岁的王峰以黑马的姿态赢得世界脑力锦标赛总冠军。是第一个来自欧洲之外获此殊荣的的人。隔年他再度出赛, 成功卫冕2011年世界总冠军,开启了记忆竞赛的新时代,在一向由英国和德国主宰的记忆运动舞台上,中国成为新兴的强大势力。获得两次世界冠军之后,王峰从官方比赛退休,忙于教学,并屡次出现在中国收视率第一的脑力竞技电节目—最强大脑。我最近很荣幸有机会和王峰在这个节目中竞技。以下是赛后不久我对他的访问,希望你们喜欢。

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Interview with a Memory Expert: U.S. Memory Athlete Everett Chew

Just 14 years old, Everett Chew is striking fear into the hearts of America’s top memory competitors. At his first ever competition, the 2015 USA Memory Championship, the Southern California native posted a 41 sec speed cards time on his first attempt and went on to reach the finals. In a few weeks, he’ll be competing right next to me in Group D at the Extreme Memory Tournament. He’ll follow that up with his first-ever WMSC competition: the U.S. Memory Open. What will he do next? I contacted Everett late last year to discuss his future plans, his advice for breaking through plateaus, and how he applies memory techniques in his school and personal lives.

"I have found two techniques mentioned in Moonwalking with Einstein called deliberate practice and the 'plateau breaker.' The idea of the 'plateau breaker' is to push myself outside of my comfort zone so that I’m forced to make mistakes. I then identify what’s holding me back and use deliberate practice to clean up those areas. Combining these two techniques is an extremely efficient way to practice and my go-to training method, especially when I attempt to beat one of my personal bests."
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Interview with a Memory Expert: Memory Athletes Annalena and Christian Schäfer

Here's the latest in the "Interview with a Memory Expert" series: Annalena and Christian Schäfer! The 22- and 23-year-old memory athletes from Wuerzburg, Germany, have been fixtures on the memory competition circuit for over six years now. They met at a competition in 2010. Now they’re married! I got in touch with them to discuss their relationship with memory sports and the many exciting things (TV appearances, their own memory events, etc.) they’ve been up to. Hope you enjoy!

"Memory sports is still something quite exotic, so it’s great to always have someone to discuss about competitions or new strategies that come up to our minds. If one of us is highly motivated to practice, he/she thrills the other one. But also if one of us wants to do something more relaxing, the other one doesn’t want to do memory training alone."
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Interview with a Memory Expert: Memory Athlete Johannes Zhou

I’ve got another memory expert interview for you: Johannes Zhou! Only 19 years old, Johannes was the top online qualifier for the 2015 Extreme Memory Tournament and this year’s runner-up (check out Johannes’s qualification videos here). After jumping onto the memory scene in 2013, the Frankfurt resident has been tearing up the rankings and thrashing opponents left and right. Watch out for him in Group F at the upcoming XMT (June 24-26). I got in touch with...

"Knowing that I'm able to memorize hundreds of numbers in a few minutes somehow made me a more self-confident person. It's hard to put in words, but it's just a great feeling to challenge your brain on a day to day basis."

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Interview with a Memory Expert: Memory Athlete Brad Zupp

I had a recent chat with Brad Zupp, a 47-year-old vet of the memory competition circuit and one of America’s best memorizers. Brad helped Team USA pull in the 2nd place team prize at last year’s World Memory Championship. At the 2014 event, he broke his own national record in the spoken numbers event, recalling 150 digits after hearing them spoken aloud at 1 digit per second. Brad’s at the top of the pack among those who’ve adapted their memory expertise to help students, businesses, and more. Check out his website for more about his fun memory empowerment presentations. He’s a friend, a fierce competitor, and a real memory expert. In a quick chat, we delve into his entry into the memory world, his motivation, and some of his favorite memory memories...

"I think my biggest motivation is always to show people that no matter how old one is, a better memory is possible. Exercising our minds is essential, but it can be easier and more fun than people realize!"
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