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Speed Stacking Champion: Rachael Nedrow

Famous around the world and on campus, freshman Rachael Nedrow knows how to “drop the bass.” The Chronicle recently featured an article on Rachel and her speed stacking talents, but I decided I wanted to meet this incredible Dukie for myself!

From Portland, Oregon, Rachael began stacking cups at the age of twelve. Since then, Rachel has not only won the title of World’s Fastest Female Speed Stacker, but also came in second at the World Sport Stacking Championship. And, don’t forget- Skrillex features her voice in Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites. Her voice is prominently heard in the song when she shouts “Oh, my Gosh!”

It remains a mystery as to how Skrillex came across her YouTube video back in 2008, but she’s forever grateful. Skrillex found Rachel’s “Oh, my gosh” sound bite in a 2008 YouTube video of Rachel achieving her new stacking record of just 7.00 seconds (!). Since then, her YouTube account speedstackinggirl has been viewed by millions of fans, who check out both her speed cup stacking skills and her voice used in not just one, but two Skrillex songs (Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites and Rock n Roll).  Speed stacking is something you need to see to believe- so get ready to be blown away.

I asked Rachel how often people ask her to yell, “Oh my gosh,” and Rachel said she is asked to do so quite a bit, even though her voice has definitely changed from the time the video was taken 5 years ago. Despite any embarrassing requests, Rachel maintains a great attitude about her fame and fans. 

“I feel incredibly lucky that all of this has happened to me,” she told me.

Rachel’s down to earth and fun-loving personality is apparent both in her home life and at Duke. She was adopted from China and describes herself as a “white person in an Asian body…like a Twinkie.” She frequently includes her dad in her videos; she even did a challenge with him that earned them the fastest pair title. She jokes that it was way more challenging stacking with her dad because he’s not as good. But, Rachel seriously notes how supportive her dad has been and how dedicated he was to helping set the state record with her.

Although being a top competitor can take serious commitment, Rachel also enjoys a range of interests. She’s a big fan of playing tennis, and is even on the Club team at Duke. Rachel is also very active in social media and has almost 30,000 subscribers to her YouTube account. Fun fact: Rachel was also born left handed, but she was taught to be right-handed, which she thinks may have also helped her in the end. She also loves videogames, like Halo. Hand-eye coordination skills, anyone?

Without any pre-stacking rituals or superstitions, Rachael’s talent seems to just come naturally. So, I asked her if she couldn’t stack cups anymore, what would she choose to stack instead? She was stuck. After a while of thinking, she decided it would be tennis balls. It seems that Rachel is focused on enjoying her time away from the world of competitive cup stacking, improving her other favorite hobby, tennis, and living up life at Duke.

As a freshman, she’s already made a name for herself. But, at such a young age, she’s bound to continue doing impressive things in the future!

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