GREENWICH, Conn. — Two Connecticut senators and a congressman are urging President Barack Obama to recognize a group of students, including a Greenwich High School senior, for their victory in an international math competition.
U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal joined U.S. Rep. Jim Himes on Monday in asking the president to invite the 2015 U.S. International Mathematical Olympiad Team — made up of six high schoolers, including Greenwich High senior Michael Kural of Riverside — to the White House to celebrate their first place victory against 100 other countries at this year’s 56th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO).
Murphy, Blumenthal and Himes noted that, considering the White House’s efforts to promote STEM education and tradition of inviting championship-winning teams to Washington, the U.S. IMO team should be appropriately recognized by the White House for its achievement.
“The entire country should be proud of the way the U.S. IMO team represented our country on an international stage; honoring them at the White House would appropriately recognize them and send a message about the value of academic achievement," Murphy, Blumenthal, and Himes wrote.
"While we feel the team deserves to visit the White House based on the merits of their win alone, we believe a visit would amplify the White House’s existing efforts to promote STEM education. We also believe that the tradition of bringing championship-winning teams to the White House to celebrate their achievement should include academic teams.
"Winning a prestigious international competition, whether in athletics or in academics, requires discipline, teamwork, dedication, and competitiveness, and the hard work required to achieve at such a level should be recognized. This team of competitors deserves significant recognition.”
Kural and five other students from schools throughout the United States competed in Bucharest, Romania, against about 100 students from 17 countries. Kural qualified to go to Romania based on his performance on numerous math tests and in the 2014 Mathematical Olympiad Summer.