Memory athletes say our minds hold potential



Thane Burnett, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:48 PM ET

Neither Coke nor Pepsi were sponsors.

None of the 120 athletes, representing 32 nations, will become household names like Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps.

And let's face it, in coming days you'll likely forget the World Memory Championships, a three-day cerebral-taxing event at a conference centre in the London borough of Croydon.

But the remarkable stretches of mental prowess are worth expending grey matter on, because while you'll never beat Bolt on land or Phelps in water, the potential of your noggin is still up for debate.

Consider the abilities of our brains over brawn. During the championship, Johannes Mallow, a German competitor who reportedly has muscular dystrophy, broke a world record by recalling 501 digits -- all in order.

Though he says he still often forgets where he left his keys.

He and 17-year-old memory athlete Suvina Ng -- a Canadian living in Hong Kong -- use the same process we can all learn from.