Nelson Dellis

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Nelson Dellis
Nelson Dellis Headshot.jpg
Personal information
Full nameNelson Charles Dellis
NationalityAmerican, British
Born (1984-02-04) February 4, 1984 (age 34)
Wimbledon, UK
ResidenceMiami, Florida
Alma materUniversity of Miami (B.S. in Physics, M.S. in Computer Science)
OccupationMnemonist, Mountaineer, Public Speaker, Consultant
Years active2009-present
Height6 ft 6 in[citation needed]
Spouse(s)Leah Dellis (m. 2016)
Other interestsCrossfit
Websitewww.nelsondellis.com, www.climb4memory.org
Sport
SportMemory
RankNo. 50 (Feb. 2017), Grand Master of Memory
Achievements and titles
World finals7th place (2012), 12th place (2013), 8th place (2014), 23rd place (2015)
National finalsW (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015), F (2010, 2013)
Highest world rankingNo. 21 (Oct. 2011)
Personal best(s)
  • 15 min Names & Faces: 217 names (2018)
  • 15 min Random Words: 255 words (2014, NR)
  • Speed Cards: 40.65 sec (2012)
  • Speed Numbers: 339 digits (2013)

Nelson Charles Dellis (born February 4, 1984) is an American memory athlete, Grandmaster of Memory, mountaineer, published author, public speaker, and consultant. He is a four-time USA Memory Champion, tying the record for most wins of the national memory champion title. He is also one of the co-founders of Memory League (formerly, Extreme Memory Tournament).[1] Nelson also runs Climb 4 Memory[2] - a nonprofit which "aims to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer's disease research through mountain climbs around the world."[3]

Personal life[edit]

Dellis was born in Wimbledon, UK, to a Belgian mother and a French father, and grew up in England, France, and the United States.[4][5] He attended high school at Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami, Florida.[4] After graduation, he went on to attend the University of Miami, where he graduated with a major in physics and a minor in mathematics. He then earned a master's degree in computer science, also from the University of Miami, and wrote his thesis on Automated reasoning.[4][5] He is a mountain climber who has made three attempts to climb Mount Everest, and has scaled Alaska's Mount McKinley along with other mountains around the world.[4][5][6]

Dellis lives in Miami, Florida with his wife and son.

Mental athletics[edit]

Dellis was originally inspired to improve his memory after seeing the decline of his grandmother's memory due to Alzheimer's disease, and entered his first memory competition in 2009.[7] He has since placed in a number of competitions as well as broken numerous memory records (see below).

Dellis was featured in the 2012 documentary Ben Franklin Blowing Bubbles at a Sword: The Journey of a Mental Athlete.[5] He also appeared in the Science Channel program Memory Games in July 2013, which covered the 2013 US Memory Championships.[8] He has also been interviewed regarding memory training on Today,[9] The Dr. Oz Show,[10] and Nightline.[11]

Notable competitions[edit]

2010[edit]

  • USA Memory Championship (Mar. 6, New York City, USA): 3rd place overall.[12] Dellis broke the US record for memorizing the most numbers in 5 minutes: 178 digits.[13]
  • Friendly (Cambridge) Memory Championship (May 2, Cambridge, UK): 2nd place overall.[14] Dellis broke US records in all 10 disciplines at this event, raising the international standard for American competitors in memory sports.[15]

2011[edit]

  • USA Memory Championship (Mar. 7, New York City, USA): 1st place overall.[16] Dellis broke the US record for memorizing the most numbers in 5 minutes: 248 digits,[17] and the fastest to memorize a deck of cards: 66 seconds.[18]
  • UK Open Memory Championship (Aug. 25-26, London, UK): 2nd place overall.[19]
  • German Open Memory Championship (Sept. 16-17, Heilbronn, Germany): 6th place overall.[20]

2012[edit]

  • USA Memory Championship (Mar. 24, New York City, USA): 1st place overall.[21] Dellis broke the US record for memorizing the most numbers in 5 minutes: 303 digits,[22] the fastest to memorize a deck of cards: 66 seconds,[23] and the most names memorized in 15 minutes: 162 names.[24] Dellis was the first and only (as of Feb. 17, 2017) mental athlete to win all four events in the morning part of the competition, getting a perfect 400 total points across four events [25]
  • World Memory Championships (Dec. 14-16, London, UK): 7th place overall.[26] Dellis broke the US international record, at this event, for memorizing a deck of cards in the fastest time: 40.65 seconds .[27]

He also received the title of international Grand Master of Memory, the highest title bestowed by the World Memory Sports Council, at this event.[28][29]

2013[edit]

  • World Memory Championships (Nov. 30-Dec. 2, London, UK): 12th place overall.[31] Dellis broke the US international record, at this event, for memorizing the most digits in 5 minutes: 339 digits.[32]

2014[edit]

  • USA Memory Championship (Mar. 29, NYC, New York): 1st place overall.[33] Dellis broke the US record for memorizing the most numbers in 5 minutes: 310 digits,[34] and the most names memorized in 15 minutes: 193 names.[35]
  • World Memory Championships (Dec. 11-14, Haikou, China): 9th place overall.[36] At this event, Dellis broke the US international record for most words memorized in 15 minutes: 255 words,[37] and the US international record for most international names memorized in 15 minutes: 125 names.[38]

2015[edit]

  • USA Memory Championship (Mar. 29, NYC, New York): 1st place overall.[39] Dellis broke the US record for memorizing the most names memorized in 15 minutes: 201 names.[40] After the championship win, Dellis became only the second America memory athlete to win four US titles.[41]

2016[edit]

  • Memoriad (Nov. 8-10, Las Vegas, NV): gold: Names & Faces, bronze: Speed Reading.[44] He also set an Olympic Memory Record for memorizing the most names in 15 minutes: 198 names.[45]
  • UK Memory League Championship (Nov. 19-20, London, UK): 2nd place overall/finals runner-up.[46]

Records[edit]

As of Feb. 17, 2017, Dellis held 4 American records.[47][48] He was the first American to memorize a deck of cards at an international competition in under 60 seconds.[49] He was also the second American to achieve the Grand Master of Memory title.[50]

Dellis holds a number of memory records, including the US national record for memorizing the most names in 15 minutes, 201 names.[51] He also is the former record holder for memorizing a deck of shuffled cards in 63 seconds[5] as well as for memorizing the most digits in 5 minutes, with 339 digits memorized.[52] He is also ranked 15th in the world for memorizing a deck of cards, with a time of 40.65 seconds, one of the fastest times for an American in an international competition.[53] He currently ranks 50th in the world as a memory athlete.[54]

Career[edit]

Before becoming involved in memory athletics, Dellis worked as a software developer.[52] He also worked as a Veterinary Technician and as a Vedic Mathematics (mental math) teacher at Math Monkey of Pinecrest in Miami. In Chicago, he worked at a local yarn shop, experimenting with large scale knitting projects. He now works as a public speaker and memory consultant, giving talks on his climbs as well as holding seminars about memory techniques.[5][52] Dellis is also the co-founder of Memory League (formerly, Extreme Memory Tournament), a new type of competitive memory platform that allows memory enthusiasts to challenge each other online.[1] He has also written a children's picture book called "I Forgot Something (but I can't remember what it was)" designed to teach children the basics of memory techniques.[55]

Charity work[edit]

In 2010, Dellis founded Climb for Memory, a charity organization that raises money for Alzheimer's research through sponsored mountain climbs undertaken by Dellis.[5] Fusion-io sponsored an ascent of Everest in 2013, following up on a 2011 attempt in which Dellis had to turn back 280 feet from the summit due to equipment failure.[6] He also attempted Everest in 2016 but turned around at the South Col because of developing HAPE.

Media Appearances[edit]

Nelson was a contestant on Superhuman, the American version of The Brain, making it to the finals of his episode by memorizing bank vault codes and then having to open them from memory, while being suspended from the ceiling.[56]

Nelson has been featured in The New Yorker[57], Mashable[58], CNN[59], Yahoo![60], Lifehacker[61], Vital Signs with Dr. Sanjay Gupta[62], Today[63], Men's Health[64], among others.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Remember It!: The Names of People You Meet, All of Your Passwords, Where You Left Your Keys, and Everything Else You Tend to Forget, Abrams Books Press HC, September 25, 2018, ISBN 978-1-41973-256-0

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Wired | The Science Behind The Best Memorizers In The World". www.wired.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  2. ^ "Home". Climb 4 Memory. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  3. ^ "Home | Climb 4 Memory". www.climb4memory.org. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  4. ^ a b c d Ana Veciana-Suarez (17 April 2012). "One man's climb for better memory". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Jason Hanna (23 March 2012). "Spurred by love and fear, memory champ aims to inspire". CNN. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Fusion-io Backs Everest Effort". techrockies.com. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
  7. ^ "'Everyone can do this': American memory champion reveals secrets to his incredible total recall". The Daily Mail. 24 March 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  8. ^ "About Memory Games". science.discovery.com. Science Channel. Archived from the original on 4 July 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
  9. ^ "Meet a champion who flexes his memory muscle". nbc.com. Archived from the original on 14 August 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  10. ^ "The Superfood That Will Supercharge Your Memory". doctoroz.com. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  11. ^ "Tricks to Improve Your Memory". abcnews.go.com. 23 March 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  12. ^ "2010 USA Memory Championships | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  13. ^ "2010 USA Memory Championships Speed Numbers | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  14. ^ "2010 Cambridge Memory Championships | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  15. ^ "2010 Cambridge Memory Championships | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  16. ^ "2011 USA Memory Championships | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  17. ^ "2011 USA Memory Championships Speed Numbers | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  18. ^ "2011 USA Memory Championships Speed Cards | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  19. ^ "2011 UK Open Memory Championships | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  20. ^ "2011 German Open Memory Championships | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  21. ^ "2012 USA Memory Championships | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  22. ^ "2012 USA Memory Championships Speed Numbers| World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  23. ^ "2012 USA Memory Championships Speed Cards | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  24. ^ "USA Memory Championships 2012 | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  25. ^ "2012 USA Memory Championships Results | USA Memory Championships". www.usamemorychampionship.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  26. ^ "2012 World Memory Championships | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  27. ^ "2012 World Memory Championships Speed Cards | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  28. ^ "Grandmasters | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
  29. ^ "Special Titles | International Association of Memory Statistics". www.iam-stats.com. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
  30. ^ "2013 USA Memory Championships | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  31. ^ "2013 World Memory Championships | International Association of Memory Statistics". www.iam-stats.com. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
  32. ^ "2013 World Memory Championships Speed Numbers | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  33. ^ "2014 USA Memory Championships | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  34. ^ "2014 USA Memory Championships | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  35. ^ "2014 USA Memory Championships | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  36. ^ "2014 World Memory Championships | International Association of Memory Statistics". www.iam-stats.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  37. ^ "2014 World Memory Championships Random Words | International Association of Memory Statistics". www.iam-stats.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  38. ^ "2014 World Memory Championships Names & Faces | International Association of Memory Statistics". www.iam-stats.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  39. ^ "2015 USA Memory Championships | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  40. ^ "2015 USA Memory Championships | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  41. ^ "Nelson Dellis Memory Statistics | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  42. ^ "2015 UK Open Memory Championships | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  43. ^ "2015 World Memory Championships | International Association of Memory Statistics". www.iam-stats.com. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
  44. ^ "International Memoriad Las Vegas-2016 Results | Memoriad". www.memoriad.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  45. ^ "International Memoriad Las Vegas-2016 Results | Memoriad". www.memoriad.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  46. ^ "2016 UK Memory League Championship | Memory League Championships". www.memoryleague.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  47. ^ "USA Memory Championship Records | USA Memory Championship". www.usamemorychampionship.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  48. ^ "USA Records | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  49. ^ "2012 World Memory Championship Scores | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com/. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  50. ^ "Grandmasters of Memory List | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com/. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  51. ^ "USA Memory Championship Records | USA Memory Championship". www.usamemorychampionship.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  52. ^ a b c Christian Salazar (24 March 2012). "Nelson Dellis Wins USA Memory Championship". Associated Press. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  53. ^ "Cards under 5 mins". memocamp.de. Archived from the original on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
  54. ^ "World Memory Rankings | World Memory Statistics". www.world-memory-statistics.com/. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  55. ^ "Nelson Dellis Books | Amazon.com". www.amazon.com. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  56. ^ Ryan Yousefi, "Miami Resident to Show Off Amazing Memory Talents on Fox's Superhuman", in miaminewtimes.com, June 12, 2017.
  57. ^ Michael Humphrey, "Memory Games", in NewYorker.com, March 8, 2010.
  58. ^ Rebecca Hiscott, "Man With World's Strongest Memory Crusades Against Alzheimer's", in mashable.com, April 5, 2014.
  59. ^ Jason Hanna, "Spurred by love and fear, memory champ aims to inspire", in CNN.com, March 23, 2012.
  60. ^ Eric Pfeiffer, "U.S. memory champion Nelson Dellis shares his secrets for strengthening your mind", in yahoo.com, March 29, 2014.
  61. ^ Melanie Pinola, "Remember People's Names and Faces by Creating Visual Hooks for Them", in Lifehacker.com, January 8, 2013.
  62. ^ Sanjay Gupta, "How to build your memory palace", in CNN.com, June 22, 2017.
  63. ^ J. Wolfe, "Nelson Dellis Memory Champ - NBC TODAY SHOW", from Today.com, March 14, 2011.
  64. ^ Tyler Daswick, "How to Build a Better Memory", in MensHealth.com, August 7, 2017.

External links[edit]