The Rubik's Cube. That pesky 3x3 cube that can make men and women out of teens or, if you're like me, a fool out of grown adults who think smugly to themselves, "I got this." I've always held the utmost respect for anyone who's been able to beat the cube, and one Aussie teen in particular has earned that respect.
17-year-old Feliks Zemdegs won the Rubik's Cube World Championship, with the fastest average time of 8.18 seconds. His fastest solve, 7.36 seconds, wasn't the fastest of the competition (I know, take a moment to really let that sink in). That honor went to second-place contestant Mats Valk from the Netherlands, whose fastest solve was 7.31 seconds, but whose average time unfortunately came out at 8.65 seconds.
The three-day competition, which took place in Las Vegas, brought over 500 competitors from 37 different countries, each taking part in the 15 cubing events. A contributing photographer for the Las Vegas Sun, Tom Donoghue, was present for the competition and noted that some contestants were even able to solve the cube with their feet. So if you weren't already feeling inadequate … you're welcome.
The World Rubik's Cube Championship has taken place since its inception in Budapest, Hungary — the birthplace of the Rubik's Cube — on June 5, 1982. At that time there was only one event, and the winner that year was Minh Thai from the United States, with the best time of 22.95 seconds. The next competition wasn't held until 20 years later in Toronto, Canada. Following that, Tyson Mao and Ron van Bruchem formed the World Cube Association. Their first event was held in 2004, and since then, the Rubik's Cube World Championship has been held every other year.
Zemdegs' time of 8.18 is the fastest average solve time of any previous World Rubik's Cube Champ, setting a high bar for future contestants.