The name Alex Song is spoken in reverential tones in Canadian mathematical circles.

The 18-year-old won the International Mathematical Olympiad in Thailand in mid-July, achieving the rare perfect score in the two-day competition against more than 600 high school competitors from 104 countries.

Song has had an incredible run over the past six years, finishing with five gold medals and one bronze against the best in the world. Now he sits atop the all-time leaderboard, ranking first on the Olympiad’s Hall of Fame.

The Olympiad is a big deal in math. Previous participants have gone on to win prestigious international awards such as the Fields Medal, given out to a few mathematicians under 40 years old, every four years. It’s considered by many as the highest honour in mathematics.

For Song, the Olympiad win wasn’t that big of a deal.

“I was definitely very happy at the same time,” he says. “But, I mean, it was just whatever happened.”