International German Olympics (IDO)

Chelsey Gilbert and Lauren Guo IDO USA 2021 © Goethe-Institut/JaNae Contag Photography

The Winners of the national final have been determined

Chelsey Gilbert (Monroe High School, WI) and Lauren Guo (Ralston Valley High School, CO) will travel to Hamburg in the summer of 2022 and represent the USA in the international finals! They competed against 385 other contestants from 28 states and 67 schools in two different rounds.
During the two-day competition in Chicago, they not only showed off their impressive German skills, but also demonstrated great teamwork and creativity. Our sincere congratulations and all the best for the final round! We would also like to thank all of the other participants that can be equally proud of their outstanding achievements.

Chelsey and Lauren and their accompanying teacher, Paula Blum of Ralston Valley High School, will receive a scholarship to travel to Hamburg in the summer of 2022. It includes airfare, lodging, meals and program.

What is the IDO?

The International German Olympics take place every two years. Besides testing the students' German skills, the IDO is also about a cultural exchange.
Following the Motto ZEIG DER WELT WAS DU KANNST! the Goethe-Institut Chicago looked for two students to represent the USA at the world finals of the IDO. During the online-phase from October 25 to 31, 2021 students had to solve different problems online every day and prove their knowledge about Germany and their German linguistic skills. The best 16 students were then invited to the national finals in Chicago from December 3 to 4, 2021.
The world final will take place in Hamburg from July 25 to August 5, 2022. There will be about 150 participants between the ages of 14 to 17 from 75 different countries. German native speakers are excluded from the competition.

The IDO takes place every two years, therefore the next IDO will be held in 2023/2024.


At the National Preliminary Round in the USA, the top sixteen finalists won prizes and the trip, meals, program and overnight stay to the USA finals in Chicago.
The winners of the International German Olympics will receive youth course scholarships for German language courses in Germany in the summer of 2023. 


  • The final round of the IDO 2021. JaNae Contag
  • The final round of the IDO 2021. JaNae Contag
  • Group picture of all IDO contestants and jurors. JaNae Contag
  • Students are getting their lunch at the buffet. JaNae Contag
  • Musicians playing during the IDO award ceremony. JaNae Contag
  • The institut's director Leonhard Emmerling gives a speech during the award ceremony. JaNae Contag
  • Eban Ebssa, winner of the last IDO, gives a speech. JaNae Contag
  • The winners Lauren Guo (left) und Chelsey Gilbert (right). JaNae Contag
  • The prices for the IDO winners. JaNae Contag