483 ½ Wizolympics – Day 3 Update: Snowmen Battle Qualifying Round

The Snowman Battle is always one of the most popular events in the Wizolympics; no one wants to miss the beautiful and terrifying sculptures the competitors manage to construct in the span of an hour followed by a violent fifteen-minute battle. Contestants are expected to show off their creativity and transfiguration abilities as well as their rapid reflexes.  Mastering the art of snowman battling is not easy, so the participating countries are usually quite familiar with snow.

Today’s event is no exception to this rule; nevertheless, we’ll be seeing few familiar faces. The only veterans who made it through the battlefield of talented rookies were Isabelle Wandman (US) and Lutz Schnee (Germany). Both competitors made it to the finals in Vancouver. This morning they seemed quite confident of their abilities. Wandman, who won a bronze medal in the last Wizolympics, was determined to win this year’s battle as well: “This year I’m definitely walking away with a gold medal.” Schnee was just as determined as her: “It doesn’t matter what they throw at me; I’m winning this thing.”

At 9:30 AM, the six fighters were asked to take a numbered sphere from a bag in order to determine who would be fighting whom. The three groups were scheduled to act simultaneously in different arenas. These were the pairs:

Isabelle Wandman (US) vs. Leire Neu (Andorra)

Vladimir Zerkovsky (Belarus) vs. Lutz Schnee (Germany)

Seung Jun (Republic of Korea) vs. Rebekah Lavioso (Austria)

 

Wandman gave quite a show with her beautifully crafted snowman. The engineering was flawless, and her technique was beautiful to the extreme. But she seemed to forget the competition’s rules along the way. Instead of building a humanoid figure, she chose to create a life-sized bear, causing her to be disqualified, thus making Neu the winner. Wandman wasn’t very happy; she showed the judges what she felt about their verdict by throwing her terrifying snow bear at them. No one was gravely injured; the Mediwizards were effective as ever. However, one of the judges will be spending some time under mental care; she appears to have developed an acute phobia to snow and bears. Not that we can blame her – the American’s bear could have easily passed as a real one. After order was restored and the bear put under control, Wandman was escorted out of the arena and banned from the next Wizolympics.

Our German veteran did much better. He managed to subdue Zerkovsky’s fourteen-foot snowman with one half its size. The fight was extremely violent – snow and water flew everywhere. Both snowmen lost their facial features in the first three minutes, and Zerkovsky’s proceeded to stab Schnee’s snowman with its own nose until Schnee’s lost its head. It seemed as if Zerkovsky was going to be the definite winner, but Schnee managed to continue fighting. Zerkovsky’s head was ripped off in Minute 9, spraying melting snow and ice particles everywhere. Its arms followed three minutes later.  By the end of the battle, the arena was soaked in pieces of melting snow, and the snowmen were completely destroyed. Schnee was proclaimed the winner since he was able to keep his snowman’s arms intact.

The German’s victory wasn’t the biggest surprise this morning. Against all expectations, the Republic of Korea’s contestant managed to surprise everyone with his innovative design. Instead of creating a colossal snowman, like his fellow contestants, he constructed a small and sleek one. Lavioso’s snowman was a truly awe-inspiring killing machine. It was huge and covered in armor that would have been both effective in terms of resistance and easy to the eye in normal circumstances. It was completely useless against Jun’s agile creation. The tiny snowman was able to evade every attack Lavioso’s heavy one sent while targeting her snowman’s weakest areas using an icicle. Lavioso’s killing machine was demolished after six minutes of battle.

This leaves us with Seung Jun (Republic of Korea), Leire Neu (Andorra), and Lutz Schnee (Germany), who will be fighting for the gold medal this afternoon at 4:00. It should be an interesting battle, best of luck to our three finalists!

Reporting live from 2014 Sochi Wizolympics,

Katherine Nott