483 ½ Wizolympics – Day 8 Update: Frozen Quodpot Qualifying Round

Hello, everyone! I know you’re all excited to see who will join Team USA in the Frozen Quodpot finals later this evening. This morning they played a spectacular game against Transylvania, with team captain Steven Knight landing the winning Quod into the pot. No surprise, really, since the Americans developed this game, and they are determined to add another gold medal for this sport.

This afternoon’s match will be Russia vs. Denmark. With both teams evenly matched, it will be interesting to see who comes out on top. I had the opportunity to speak with both teams after the US’s victory earlier.

“Ve vill have no problem beating ze Danes and zen ze Americans,” said Russian team captain Luka Levitan. “Ze Danes should drop out now.”

Captain Aina Olsen of Denmark’s team had this to say: “I am-a just-a excited to be here. We all are. We-a wish Russia good luck.”

The game is moments away from starting. I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Wizolympics to thank Quality Quidditch Supplies for providing the beautifully crafted Firebolts you see the competitors riding. We would also like to thank George Weasley and all those from Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes for constructing and bewitching all the Quods used in the matches and the solutions for the pots.

Russia has just stepped onto the field to massive roars from the crowd. And here comes Denmark. The officials are putting the finishing touches on the field as we speak, and the competitors are lining up to shake hands. The rules will be the same as this morning. The eleven players on each team will attempt to land Quods into their opponent’s pot at the opposite ends of the pitch before it explodes. The Quods have been altered slightly from the original play of the game, so if the Quod explodes before the competitor can place it in the pot with the solution to keep it from exploding, he or she will become frozen and removed from the field until he or she has thawed.  Absolutely NO wands are permitted on the pitch at any time during the game. If such an instance occurs, the culprit will be removed for the remainder of the game and depending on the severity of the foul, the team may be forced to forfeit. For the sake of time, five Quods will be required for a victory.

The Quod has just been released, and Dagmar Storm of Denmark is the first to gain possession. Down the pitch they go. Russia is having a hard time keeping up with him. Luka Levitan comes from below and knocks the Quod from Storm’s hand. He’s almost at Denmark’s pot. OH! Stolen back from Casper Frost of Denmark. Quick pass to Aina Olsen. To Felix Hoyer. They might want to hurry. That Quod is starting to vibrate. Another pass. And it’s Jacob Holt of Denmark with the first goal! Luka Levitan is less than pleased. He’s screaming violently at Afanasy Krupin, who was defending the pot.

A second Quod was quickly taken by Lazar Konn of Russia. Frost is hot on his tail, but Levitan has collided with him and knocked him into Kristian Ellegaard. How hard was the hit? Frost and Ellegaard are trying to regain control of their brooms. Konn still in control of the Quod and… score for Russia, tying up the game.

Another Quod once again taken by Russia. Anastasia Kaminskaya heading toward Denmark’s pot. Demyan Sokolov is flanking her right side. They alternate passing the Quod back and forth between them, making it extremely difficult to steal. Kaminskaya and Sokolov are rookies on Team Russia, having shown great promise in the preliminaries to qualify for the Wizolympic team. Another goal for Russia. The score is now 2-1.

Poul Sonderby of Denmark with the fourth Quod. He keeps dodging players – but just narrowly. He is now stopped mid-field, desperate to break through Russia’s line of defense. The Quod is starting to vibrate. Pass to Olsen, clear over Levitan’s head. That was pretty impressive, although Levitan doesn’t seem to think so. And there’s Denmark with another goal! What do you think of techniques demonstrated here, Mr. Oglethorpe? For those of you who don’t know, Mr. Oglethorpe is the retired Head of QUABBLE, which is the Quidditch Union for the Administration and Betterment of the British League and its Endeavors.

“Well, Arabella, as you can guess, being a proper Englishman, my heart will always belong to Quidditch. That being said, I think both teams are playing brilliantly. Not only do you have to worry about scoring, but you also have to worry about the Quod exploding on you. With that extra pressure, it definitely adds to the intensity, and both teams are handling it well.”

Another goal for Denmark. That brings the score up to 3-2 in favor of Denmark. It looks like Levitan is becoming desperate. Why is he whispering to Dmitriy Volkov? The Quod is released once more. Russia didn’t even try to grab for it. Felix Hoyer heads up the pitch toward Russia’s pot. Pass to Ellegaard over Gleb Chernikov. Back to Hoyer. Wait, where did the pot go? Hoyer is looking around in confusion… ooh. The Quod just exploded. Felix Hoyer will be out for a good five minutes now. The referee has blown the whistle to pause the game. It seems Volkov cast the Disillusionment Charm on the pot so that Hoyer couldn’t see it, causing him to run out of time before the Quod exploded. Russia has been given a warning, and Volkov is no longer allowed to participate. Levitan should keep his teammates in line, although it looks as if he instigated the incident.

The whistle has been blown to resume the game. Denmark has a new fury inside them. Frost takes the Quod up the pitch, dodgings Levitan, Sokolov, and Kaminskaya. He narrowly misses colliding with Chernikov. Almost at the pot and… stolen back by Levitan, who throws it to Valentin Novikov. He flies right past Klaus Haugaard for Russia’s third goal. Back up the pitch with Denmark in possession. Storm is sailing up the field with almost no interference. He ducks under Konn and…. goal! That brings the score up to 4-3. One more, and Denmark will be in the finals with the United States.

It seems Felix Hoyer is returning to the game with boisterous enthusiasm from his teammates. The next Quod is thrown in and is instantly snatched by Hoyer. He’s certainly wasting no time to retaliate against Russia. He’s coming up onto Afanasy Krupin guarding the Russian pot. Less than thirty feet, and Denmark claims victory. What is Levitan doing? Does anyone else see that?

*BOOM*

The Quod Hoyer was holding once again exploded, freezing him. I’m almost positive I just saw Levitan sneak his wand back into the pocket of his robes. The whistle has been blown once more.

“Russia is disqualified for unauthorized use of the Blasting Curse to prematurely set off the Quod. Denmark wins!”

I knew I heard “Confringo” on the field. Well, Russia’s unsportsmanlike conduct has cost the team its chance of any medal. Transylvania will take home the bronze. This has certainly been quite a qualifying round. Tune in tonight for the final match between Denmark and the United States. Happy Wizolympics!

-Arabella Featherman, Daily Prophet reporter