Imagine a 17-year-old girl who has conquered Europe with her knowledge, but she is so modest that you can hardly make her speak about it.
The name Jelena Ivancic won't sound familiar to you. She is not on television, in the news, or in newspapers. We have tried to reach her over the High school of Mathematics after the news that she is an absolute winner of the European Mathematics Olympiad and that she is the only one from 196 contestants who won the maximum 42 points.
- Try with email. Jelena is a shy and modest girl, but she might agree to answer via mail - said the principal of the school Srdjan Ognjanovic, mentioning that she already canceled going to the television show.
Jelena politely replied on email to all of our questions, short and modestly. Just like we expected. She said that her incredible success, the fact that she is the only one from 196 contestants who won the maximum number of points, isn't any gift.
- I think it is just important to work and to do what you love and to enjoy doing it - she briefly explained this success.
The competition was spartan. It lasted for three days and the contestants solved three problems each day, fours hours straight. As Jelena said, preparations last all of the time.
- I have been preparing since the eighth grade since we don't prepare for a certain competition, so we advance and we go to higher levels. It is a great feeling. I am really glad and I am proud of the medal. Ever since the fourth grade of elementary school, it is my desire to go to High school of math, that is where my interest in math grew and there was my real goal - said the best European mathematician.
Jelena has a lot of medals. Last year, she was the best in Europe and she returned with gold. In one of the rare interviews, she avoided saying how many medals she has, "she is no longer counting them".
It is a shame that we can't see and listen to her more often because she is one of the most beautiful faces of Serbia - beautiful, smart, and modest, a combination of virtues we can find only if search very hard.
(Telegraf.co.uk / M.Leskovac)