von links nach rechts: David Rusch (Deputy Leader), Tanish Patil, Raphael Angst, Valentin Imbach, Matthew Meyer, Yanta Wang

On the first day, God created light. Shortly after this, we all met up at Baden station to await the arrival of the Slovenians. Tim wasn't there because he was doing some informatics in Austria, but we'd all decided to forgive this sacrilegious error of his. When the Slovenians arrived, we all promptly made our way to the Hostel, a quant little place next to the Limmat river. David then made the excellent situation we all go to the nearby swimming pool, and so we did. This was fairly uneventful (Raphi was nearly killed on the water slide, but that was standard stuff). After eating various local delicacies like hot dogs and french fries, we went back to the hostel, played cards and board games and slept.

On the second day we did geometry and everything was going well until Jakob, the Slovenian deputy, decided to give us 2018 G4 as a "hard" problem. Holy smokes, it was hard. After spending 15 minutes drawing a diagram all 12 of us sat there and stared at it for one and a half hours without having so much as a clue on how to solve it. Some ridiculous GeoGebra diagrams were cooked up which Jakob and Luka excitedly drew circles on, but the rest of us resigned ourselves to doing normal stuff instead.

Day 3 brought with it number theory, which was a pretty normal topic. In fact, this day was so unremarkable that I don't actually remember anything. The next day, algebra, was equally forgettable with the most interesting part being me and Raphi getting locked out of the hostel at 1am when our card decided to stop working for no good reason. For a second I was terrified (thoughts of sleeping out in the wild abounded) but Raphi had the good sense to call the others. Probably the only time I've heard a sensible word come out of his mouth. The last day of formal training was combi day, and then after that we had a mock exam on Day 6 which never actually got corrected (I think David still has the problems somewhere). Then it was kebabs with the boys as we chilled for the rest of the day.

Sunday was the big move as we all got up nice and early to go to Zurich to catch the TGV. After our arrival in Paris we quickly made our way across the city to catch the train to London (and nearly missed it!), followed by a train to Bath, followed in turn by a bus to the University, after which we had an interesting encounter with a lady from Luxembourg who wouldn’t stop talking to us about her nephew from EPFL and how me and Matthew should become his new best friends and how he would guide us around the University. When all the hullabaloo was finally over, we started meeting old friends from other teams and had dinner.

Monday brought with it the opening ceremony where we had a wonderful announcer and host who tried his best to get everybody fired up, but he had his task cut out for him (have you ever seen mathematicians getting hype?). Then everybody went on stage, the Slovenians pulled off an acrobatic stunt by hoisting Lovro on their shoulders when they went up, and we all wandered lazily through town before going home.

Tuesday was exam day 1. Everyone had a good go at problem 1, but 2 and 3 proved far too difficult for any of us. To take our minds off we went to play football with people from all over Europe and in an amazing turn of events the North Koreans showed up to play with us. Even if they didn't speak much English they were great players and showed perfect sportsmanship. Wednesday was exam day 2. I spent Tuesday night praying to every god imaginable for number theory 4 and combi 5, and when I opened the exam I had an epiphany. I gave it all I had and wrapped up both problems around the 3 hour mark; 6 proved far too hard. Coming out the exam, I discovered that Valentin and Raphi had done the same as me. That night, we all got very lit in celebration of the exams finally being over.

On Thursday we lazed around before popping into town in the afternoon to buy David's surprise birthday present, which took far longer than expected. Then, we got lit again at night. You begin to see a recurring pattern here. I lost my phone at one point and got terrified and logged into my Google account on Raphi’s phone to find it, but the damn thing had vanished into thin air. Luckily, a guy from Costa Rica had it all along. It was a mistake signing into Google, though, as Raphi proceeded to read my emails for a week before I realized he still had access.

Friday, me and Raphi slept in and decided to miss our excursion to Stonehenge, whilst Valentin sweet-talked his way into the other excursion to Oxford, leaving Luxembourg Lady very annoyed. That night, we all gathered in the kitchen, and at 11, Louis and David arrived bearing results. Me, Raphi and Vale all managed to get Bronze medals, whilst Yanta got a very respectable honourable mention for P5. David went off to sleep (he does that a lot) and so we had to drag him back out at midnight so we could all sing happy birthday and give him his gift. That was the cue to get lit.

Saturday was more or less a day off for everyone since coordination had finished a day early, so we played football, went into town, attended a Ben Green lecture where me and Raphi caught up on some missed sleep (along with half the back row, apparently). That night, we decided to get lit on the roof of one of the buildings, but it later turned out we weren’t actually allowed to go up there. To cut a long story short, I found myself being questioned by the night guard at 1 in the morning, but I managed to convince him I was an innocent bystander. I don’t think he believed me, but he was nice enough to let me go.

Sunday was the closing ceremony, and we all got dressed up before going to receive our medals. As a surprise, the IMO organised a fun-fair for us, and we had a go on the rides before eating from an excellent buffet before going home, getting lit (it’s not a hobby, it’s a lifestyle). We got up very early the next day and came back home to Switzerland, sleeping all the way back through London and Paris.