On Ananya Vinay Day, national spelling bee champ returns home to Fresno

12-year-old Ananya Vinay arrived at Fresno Airport Thursday night

FRESNO, Calif. - The national spelling bee champion made her return home to Fresno. 12-year-old Ananya Vinay arrived at the Fresno Airport on Thursday night.

A wave of love overwhelmed the shy sixth-grader. She smiled at the dozens of people showing support.

"A little overwhelming but it's nice," said Ananya Vinay.

Just hours after ringing the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange, 12-year-old Ananya is finally home.

It's been one week since Ananya won the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee. The word she spelled correctly is "marocain". But Ananya's favorite word is "spizzerinctum". It means the will to succeed.

"Last year, her rank was 172 so that really spurred her to put in regular effort so I think that really symbolizes her," said Anupama Poliyedath.

But there's more to be proud of. On Thursday, acting governor Gavin Newsome signed a proclamation declaring June 8 Ananya Vinay Day.

"It was kind of surprising but nice at the same time," said Ananya.

"We are really moved by that. We are very grateful to the governor for making that. I think it's a big honor for us and we thank the governor for doing that," said Vinay Sreekumar, Ananya's father.

But for Ananya, this special day is not about her accomplishments. It's about coming home and embracing the people who have helped her along her journey.

"It's nice to share it with people who know what you go through," said Ananya.

Ananya will get to enjoy her last day of school with all of her friends on Friday. 


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