"I hope the EGOI experience encourages you to follow your passions!"
The first EGOI ends - but the story of EGOI has only just begun
On the last day of EGOI, one more event awaited the participants and everyone else who was involved: The closing ceremony. It began with Viviane Kehl, who was an organizer of the 2017 EGMO in Switzerland. EGMO was an inspiration for EGOI, and Viviane herself was one of the inspiring role models who made EGOI founder Stefanie Zbinden believe that she was capable of organizing such an event, as can be read in this interview from last year.
Further, the ceremony featured two women who were part of the core organizing team of EGOI: Monika Steinová, who addressed the participants on behalf of the scientific committee, and Charlotte Knierim, who emphasized the importance of the friendships and networks built at EGOI. This was also the main theme of the video message by Olga Sorkine-Hornung, computer science professor at ETH. She told the story of how a supportive study group got her through the self-doubt she felt at first during her BA studies. “I hope that, wherever you go, you will find your own welcoming network”, she said, “ and that you can all learn and grow and thrive together.”
The closing ceremony also contained some of the clips that had been submitted for the video challenge, showing the participants all over the world who all experienced EGOI in their own way. You can find all the submissions here. Make sure to leave a like for your favourites!
Apart from the speeches and videos, the closing ceremony of course had another crucial component: The medal announcements! Everyone who got over 237 points achieved a bronze, silver or gold medaI. The pictures of the medalists were shown over footage of the EGOI medals hanging from a tree on the Hönggerberg or other locations in Zurich. To create this footage, some of the EGOI volunteers spent hours looking for a tree with a nice view and climbing ladders in order to decorate it with medals. Unfortunately, the international participants cannot travel to Zurich and pick their medals from the tree themselves, so the EGOI volunteers will send them by mail - together with the goodie bags.
The Swiss team was lucky to receive their medals soon after the closing ceremony. Ema received a good silver medal with 505 points. Vivienne and Jasmin, who both got exactly 301 points, got two bronze medals. Their little medal ceremony took place on a busy bridge near Zurich main station, so quite a few surprised passerbys ended up walking straight into the photo session. Afterwards,the Swiss participants as well as leaders and organizers went to have a final lunch together. Schnitzel with fries was being ordered left and right, and some organizers even developed a system to seat people next to each other who did not yet know each other. The restaurant staff looked slightly puzzled by the large group switching places based on numbers being called out by someone holding a laptop.
With that came the end of EGOI for many. For Ema, it was a seamless transition into the next Olympiad: She is now already in the Canton of Valais, where the Swiss and Italian teams are participating in IOI together. Perhaps, they will encounter some of the participants of EGOI at IOI as well. And for the others: We hope to see you again in Turkey at EGOI 2022! Thank you for making EGOI 2021 a success. Congratulations for all your successes - those at EGOI 2021 and all those yet to come in your future.