In spring of this year, IBO 2021 unfortunately had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But thanks to the Portuguese organizers, the "IBO Challenge II 2021” was conducted as a completely virtual substitute competition for the cancelled the 32nd IBO in Lisbon. This is the second time that a virtual IBO competition was carried out. But even under these difficult circumstances, 72 countries participated.
In addition to those countries, the organizing committee made an excellent plan to invite five more countries - Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Mozambique, and Peru - as special guests. The results of students from these guest countries were ranked separately from regular IBO member countries, as discussed in previous Annual General Meetings of IBO members. The Portuguese hosts designed the Practical tasks uniquely to follow the 500th anniversary year of Magellan’s circumnavigation.
On behalf of the International Biology Olympiad Association, I would like to express our sincere appreciation to the Portuguese government for their support. Our deep appreciation will also go to the Organizing Committee- and Scientific Committee members listed below
José Matos(Coordinator, IBO Steering Committee member), Sónia Fernandes(Coordinator’s secretary), Margarida Roque(General secretary), Stephanie Andaluz, Patrícia Matos(Event manager), Sara Duarte Correia, Élio Vicente, Taiga Araki(Consultant), Pedro Oliveira, Raúl Santos, Sérgio Leandro, Rosalia Vargas(President of the Pavilion of Knowledge Ciência Viva), Ana Noronha(Executive Director of the Pavilion of Knowledge Ciência Viva), Helder Pais(Director of Curriculum Development Services, General-Directorate for Education), Sílvia Castro(Biologist, senior technician, General-Directorate for Education), Catarina Ramos(Requested teacher, General-Directorate for Education).
Ana Cristina Figueiredo , Ana Rita Vieira, Ana Sofia Reboleira, Anabela Bernardes da Silva, Carlos Assis, Carlos Gravato, Cristina Cruz, Egídia Azevedo, Filomena Magalhães, Gabriela Rodrigues, Helena Trindade, José Granadeiro, Lélia Chambel, Leonel Serrano Gordo, Lia Santos e Sousa, Margarida Themudo, Maria Isabel Caçador, Octávio Paulo, Otília Correia, Paula Simões, Rita Carlos, Rita Zilhão, Romana Santos, Silvana Munzi, Teresa Dias, Teresa Rebelo, Vera Lia Sequeira.
Many former competitors and young volunteers joined as “Virtual Guides” to make the event even more exciting – we appreciate very much their efforts!
As of 6 December 2021, the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic becomes more complicated by the addition of a new variant, Omicron. At this moment, we cannot predict the fate of this pandemic. However, we hope the situation becomes much better, and that we will be able to see each other again at IBO 2022 on-site at Yerevan, Armenia.
Until then, please do take care of yourself and stay safe!
Prof. Dr. Ryoichi Matsuda
Chairman of the IBO Steering Committee