Allie: My name is Allie and I am from the Netherlands, I am 14 years old and I am in the second year of secondary school.

Mireia: How many times have you participated in the EGMO?

A: This is my first time.

M: Cool! How do you feel about it? Do you have any expectations?

A: Well, it’s very exciting, of course, because it’s very new to me and it’s very unique. I have a few friends that have been to the EGMO before and as far as I know, I think it’s a really unique experience. There are a lot of fun activities, and the contest –it’s challenging, but it will also be fun, and you get to meet new people!

M: This year the EGMO is going to be a bit different, but for example have you had a look at the app yet? Is there a specific activity you are looking forward to?

A: (Thinks.) Hmmm, I think the quiz will be fun and also the puzzles and those sorts of things… But the contest will be the most fun. Also chatting with other people in the forum.

M: Yes, I think that’s going to be nice! I think you are one of the youngest contestants, at least the youngest in the Dutch team?

A: Yes.

M: So tell us, how did you become interested in mathematical olympiads?

A: I was always pretty good at math in school, so when my teacher came to me and said that there was a math olympiad I was like, “Oh, sure, I would love to participate!” Math has always interested me: when I was younger, in primary school, there was the Kangaroo competition (that’s another math competition) and I also participated there. The problems were like, logic reasoning, and I like those kinds of problems, and I also scored pretty high. So I was really interested in and looking forward to the math olympiad and well, once you participate, first round, second round, the final… and all of a sudden you are in the training group! (Laughs.) And now you get to go to the EGMO and it’s really exciting, and I like math so it’s great.

M: Ahh nice! This year the EGMO is going to be a bit different, everyone participating from their home… So what’s your setup? How are you going to be taking the exams?

A: Our team provided us with a place in Hilversum where we can take the exams so I plan on going there. It will be somewhere where you can take the exam in a quiet environment, so as far as I am concerned it will be just going to another place and doing the exam.

M: Maybe this will help you get in the mindset of the exam and the concentration.

A: Yeah, because when you are at home you are more chill and cozy and maybe a little too relaxed!

M: Do you have any message for the rest of the participants of the EGMO?

A: I think everybody should be really proud of themselves for being able to participate in something this unique and special. We are in very special circumstances but I hope everyone can still enjoy the EGMO and I wish everyone good luck and have fun!

M: Good luck to you too and enjoy the EGMO! Thanks Allie!

By Mireia