When most people think of sports, they think of track and field events, games like football and basketball, or performative sports like gymnastics. However, competitive gaming is no longer limited to these conventional fields. eSports competitions, Scrabble championships and Cubing contests are emerging as the games of the 21st century, which challenge mental agility more than physical prowess.
Arnav Arora, a sixteen-year-old boy from Amity International School Noida with golden fingers, has been solving Rubik’s Cubes since 2016. While most of us have tried our hands at solving a Rubik’s cube, and some may even have succeeded, Arnav’s skill-set is several leagues above that of a casual player. To take just one example from his long list of achievements, he is the fastest person in Asia to solve a 2x2x2 cube with an average of a mere 1.52 seconds!
Watch Arnav’s nifty cubing skills in action: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=z_PRis2xriw
What began as a casual hobby for Arnav, soon developed into competitive ‘speedcubing’. Over the years, he has added several feathers to his cap. He has competed in 24 competitions all over India and has learnt to solve 13 different types of cubes including non-traditional ones like the Pyraminx (a tetrahedral-shaped puzzle) and Megaminx (a dodecahedron-shaped puzzle). He has bagged 40 Gold, 19 Silver, and 17 Bronze medals. His biggest achievement so far, has been making an Asian Record not once, but twice. He remains the fastest person in Asia to solve a 2x2x2 cube with an average of 1.52 seconds. He has also made three National Records in solving the 2x2x2 cube. The complete list of his accolades can be viewed at his official profile on the World Cube Organisation’s website: https://www.worldcubeassociation.org/persons/2015AROR02.
Arnav is now a member of ‘Capital Cubing’, the most prominent cubing organization in India, aimed at improving the quality of cubing competitions in the country. Arnav has organised several competitions all over India in prestigious universities like IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, DTU, BITS Goa, St. Stephens, and SRCC.
Often dismissed as less than a sport, speed-cubing has both mental and physical benefits. Physically, it improves reflexes, dexterity and agility of the hands, and hand-eye coordination. Much like chess, its mental benefits include enhanced memory, concentration, and cognitive capabilities.
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