High school chemistry Olympians bring home 2 gold, 2 silver medals

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Four students showing off their Chemistry Olympiad medals and holding an American flag.
IChO Team USA 2023, with their medals. From left to right: Anurag Sodhi, Mingwen Duan, Phoenix Wu and Alice Liu.
Lily Raines/ACS

WASHINGTON, July 27, 2023 — The American Chemical Society (ACS) is excited to announce that Team USA earned two gold and two silver medals at the 55th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO), held in Zurich on July 16 to 25. 

This year’s competition had 340 participants representing 87 countries, as well as eight independent students who competed. Out of the 348 participants, 217 earned a gold, silver or bronze medal. Overall, Team USA had a strong performance.

Gold medalists

  • Anurag Sodhi: Centennial High School, Maryland
  • Phoenix Wu: Seven Lakes High School, Texas

Silver medalists

  • Mingwen Duan: East Lyme High School, Connecticut
  • Alice Liu: Marquette High School, Missouri

“This was my fourth and final opportunity, as a senior. It was such a uniquely difficult experience,” Wu says. “I would say the in-person experience is unparalleled.” The three prior events he participated in were online only, as a result of pandemic restrictions.

The team was supported by head mentor Esther Hines of Billerica Memorial High School in Massachusetts, as well as college mentors Joseph Houck of Pennsylvania State University, Laura Serbulea of the University of Virginia and Songwen Xie of Massachusetts College of Pharmacy.

ACS has sponsored the U.S. team annually since the country joined the Olympiad in 1984. Principal funding is through the ACS Donald F. and Mildred Topp Othmer Chemistry Olympiad Endowment, with additional support from other donors. For a complete list of sponsors, visit the ACS Olympiad website.

IChO originated with Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary in 1968. Soon, other Eastern European countries joined the event; Western Europe began participating in 1974. The first U.S. team competed in 1984, winning one silver and two bronze medals.


The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS’ mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and all its people. The Society is a global leader in promoting excellence in science education and providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple research solutions, peer-reviewed journals, scientific conferences, eBooks and weekly news periodical Chemical & Engineering News. ACS journals are among the most cited, most trusted and most read within the scientific literature; however, ACS itself does not conduct chemical research. As a leader in scientific information solutions, its CAS division partners with global innovators to accelerate breakthroughs by curating, connecting and analyzing the world’s scientific knowledge. ACS’ main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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