Texting isn't just for utility, it's a sport too

Using his "abnormally fast thumbs," a 17-year-old wins the National Texting Competition and re-takes the title of the fastest texter in America.

The Olympics aren't the only competition taking place this summer, there's also the U.S. LG National Texting Competition. And Austin Wierschke, 17, has become the reining champ for the second year in a row.

Wierschke, who hails from Rhinelander, Wis., is now deemed "the fastest texter in America," according to the Associated Press.

His secret? "Abnormally fast thumbs," he told the news source.

The competition, which takes place in New York's Times Square, tests texters on three skills: speed, accuracy, and dexterity. The thumb athletes must text blindfolded, know "text speak," be able to copy phrases quickly, and text jumbled words. All competitors used the same LG Optimus Zip phone with QWERTY keyboard.

Wierschke excelled in all categories and won the $50,000 prize. He told the Associated Press that he plans to use the money for college. One of his competitors, Kelly Barracato, wasn't surprised he won because before the competition she saw that "his thumbs were flying."

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About the author

Dara Kerr is a staff writer for CNET focused on the sharing economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado where she developed an affinity for collecting fool's gold and spirit animals.

 

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