Survivor Champ's Stanford Secrets

Yul Kwon's superhuman abs defeated all comers in the 13th season of CBS' unsinkable reality show, Survivor. (Which we watched, so there.) The Chronicle buries the lede twenty paragraphs down:

At Stanford, he majored in symbolic systems, an interdisciplinary degree program that includes cognitive science, computer science, logic and philosophy.
In honor of male abs week on Valleywag, more academic hottness after the jump.

The Chronicle's front-page profile putters around Kwon's local roots (Concord, Walnut Creek) before trotting out a parade of pedigreed Kwon-pals and ex-Kwon-squeezes from Stanford, Yale, and Boston University med school. A former schoolmate recounts their Stanford days as Real Genius meets America's Next Top Model:

Lim bonded with Kwon at Stanford, where they played all-night marathons of Risk, a strategy game, and swapped tips on a super-low-fat, high-vegetable diet that included egg-white omelets, cheeseless pizzas and blotting oil off of grilled chicken.

It paid off. Kwon's abs were on constant display on "Survivor."


Kwon tells the Chron he nearly bailed on the show after learning that producers planned to focus on his race, not his washboard. But perseverance, hard schoolwork and lots of Risk got him through. Too bad the article doesn't answer his fans' burning question: Does he prefer iteration or recursion?

San Mateo man defeats Asian stereotypes to win 'Survivor' [Chronicle]