I started participating in OI in form 1 by school club recruitments. Over the years, I studied algorithms and participated in many competitions. To prepare for this IOI, I participated in online contests to build experience and confidence.
In this IOI, I enjoyed “Fountains” the most among all the problems. It had a combination of tricky combinatorics colouring argument and theory about planar graphs and its dual graph. I like that it has a neat setting while requiring great creativity to come up with the solution.
However, the time limit of 5 hours is just a bit too tight. I did not perform well in “Dungeons”, I went to solve other problems first before I implemented the solution in the last 90 minutes. I ended up not having enough time to finish it.
To my peers, I would advise them to enjoy OI instead of just thinking to practice and win. When I fail, I will imagine that 10 years later when I recall, I won’t even remember it, so the failure is nothing.
I qualified for IOI for two consecutive years but unfortunately both times they are held online. International competition is a great opportunity to meet new friends from different countries and learn about the culture of the country we visit, so it is a pity that I did not have many of these precious experiences.