2005 National Geographic World Championship
Eighteen teams of outstanding geography students from around the globe met in Budapest, Hungary, from July 10-July 15, 2005, for the seventh National Geographic World Championship. Each team consisted of three young people, 16 years or younger, who finished in the finals of their region's own annual geography competition. The biennial event, organized by the National Geographic Society, was sponsored by the Hungarian National Tourist Office.
After arriving in Budapest, the teams matched wits on a written test and then a map-reading activity at the Budapest Zoo. Competing in their native languages, these exemplary students answered questions about physical, cultural, and economic geography. The scores from the preliminary round were combined to determine which three teams would compete in the final round at Budapest's new Palace of the Arts on July 14. In the finals, moderated by Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, the United States triumphed over Russia and Canada in a close contest.
In their free time, the contestants and their team coordinators were treated to a world-class week of sightseeing activities organized by the Hungarian National Tourist Office. The students enjoyed a boat cruise on Lake Balaton, a visit to the famous Herend china factory, and an equestrian show at Domony. They also had the opportunity to ride an historic train to the site of the farewell dinner, held at a railway museum near Budapest.
The 2005 competition included two teams competing for the first time, Chinese Taipei and Spain, in addition to returning teams Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.