Parents looked on with tension as the pool of spellers dwindled. Charlie broke the silence in the eighth round as he requested a tissue to blow his nose before spelling “chagrin,” prompting laughter from the audience. He joked afterward that he wanted to be remembered as more than the kid who blew his nose during the competition.
Greg Donahue expected his son to make it into the top five. Charlie faced tough competitors, but after a year of studying, Donahue said he deserved it.
”This was all Charlie from beginning to end,” Donahue said.