Chester Santos returns to U.S. Memory Championship as mentor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2013
BRUSHING UP ON BRAIN POWER:
CHAMPIONSHIP MEMORY EXPERT
TAKES REMEMBERING TO A NEW EXTREME
“International Man of Memory” Mentors Man With Dyslexia
SAN FRANCISCO – A San Francisco Bay Area man well-known around the United States and abroad as the “International Man of Memory” for having a memory capacity beyond being sharp as a tack, is taking his talents and skills to a new and interesting level: helping others to overcome dyslexia and attention deficit disorder by achieving extraordinary memory skills. In fact, Chester Santos will be in New York City on Saturday, March 16 to not only reclaim the title of U.S. Memory Champion, he has his mind made up as a mentor to another Bay Area man suffering from dyslexia and attention deficit disorder – no easy feat.
But, seeing is believing.
Through the years, Santos, a New York native now living in San Francisco, has become a seven-time finalist in the U.S. Memory Championship competition. In 2008, he went all the way to win the title. Now, he is finding new purpose with his extraordinary memorization skills. During the last year, Santos has been mentoring Harry Villegas, another San Francisco man, to overcome his dyslexia and attention deficit disorder afflictions. Villegas is also competing this weekend at the memory championships in New York. In San Francisco, he is well-known as the owner of Playland Bar, at 1351 Polk Street.
Villegas admits he had incredible difficulty memorizing numbers, even the simplest of figures.
“Before I found Chester, I was just horrible with remembering numbers,” Villegas says. “Even if it was just three digits, the numbers in my head would just melt away like water. Now, I can do some remarkable things with my mind, and everyone is just blown away.”
Dyslexia has made life somewhat complicated for Villegas when it comes to numbers. Since the affliction causes him to reverse numbers, Santos has successfully taught Villegas a new way to overcome the obstacle: by eliminating digits in his mind completely, and instead, associating them with pictures or images. In other words, the more extreme the images, the easier it becomes for Villegas to remember.
Villegas is quite amazed and relieved by what he has learned so far.
“It’s like I become Quentin Tarantino and Steven Spielberg, coming up with crazy stories in an instant,” he says.
And now? Villegas has the capability to do what most people cannot: memorize as many as 80 numbers randomly, or an entire deck of playing cards – shuffled, of course – rattling off all of the figures in a matter of minutes, without hesitation. He will be put to the test this Saturday at the New York competition.
Even though Santos and Villegas will be competing against each other this weekend, Santos’ main focus of attention will be on his student.
“If Harry makes it to the finals, that would be even more exciting for me than if I won,” Santos explains. “Showing people how to re-program their mind, to show them what they can do, is what I love most.”
Both will return to the Bay Area after the Saturday competition in New York.
In the five years since Santos was named U.S. Memory Champion, he has parlayed his skills into lecturing around the globe, and hosting bi-monthly memory workshops in San Francisco. One thing worth remembering: Santos can demonstrate his memory skills, by memorizing each member of the U.S. Congress. Along with each senator and congressperson’s full name, he can recall each representative’s district number and assigned congressional committees with ease. Sum it all up, and that’s approximately 4,000 pieces of random data.
Chester Santos is one of the world’s foremost experts on memory training. He has crafted his memory skills at the U.S. Memory Championships through the years, winning the event in 2008. Santos, a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, is a professional speaker, coach and corporate trainer in the area of memory improvement and mental fitness, and assists thousands of people to realize the importance and benefits of an improved, sharper memory. Previously, Santos has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, USA Today, PBS, CNN and various television, radio, print and Internet media. His website is www.internationalmanofmemory.com.