483 ½ Wizolympics – Day 9 Update: Ice Fishing Qualifying Round
For the first time ever, right here at the 483 ½ Wizolympics, wizards from across the world competed in the Muggle sport ice fishing. Despite some initial confusion from athletes as to how exactly to catch ice, the game got off to an exciting start. Percy Weasley from the Department of Magical Games and Sports was able to charm ice blocks of various sizes so that the games could continue. Mr. Weasley was not available for comment, although many in attendance overheard him complaining about “bureaucratic oversights” to his assistant.
Fans filled rows upon rows to watch the sport’s unexpected Bulgarian player – Viktor Krum, famous Quidditch player.
“I am very fascinated by this sport, and since there is no Quidditch in the Wizolympics, I think, I should do something to represent my country, and this had very little training. It is not Quidditch, but it is exciting to be in the Olympics and visit Russia.” Krum quickly dashed off after his interview, as a group of young fans chased him for an autograph.
Spectators watching were intrigued by the Muggle sport, though some complained it wasn’t as exciting as Quidditch.
“Well, it’s quite exciting, isn’t it? Muggle sports played by wizards. It’s incredible!” said enthusiastic spectator Arthur Weasley.
Catherine Tremblay of Canada was the first to catch a block but in surprise dropped her pole into the water and had to Summon it back before continuing. Unfortunately, our own Angelica Acadia, hailing from Essex, was eliminated only ten minutes in for catching a piranha by accident.
“I didn’t even know there were piranhas in Russia!” a distraught Acadia told us. “Thankfully, Britain’s got other great athletes who will take home gold for us. I just can’t believe I caught a piranha.”
The game continued with China’s Li Na catching a 24-pound block of ice within the first half hour, although she struggled to reel in the heavy block without magic.
“I’m very proud to be representing China, but I have no idea how Muggles play this sport without magic; it must be very difficult to catch the ice,” Na told the Daily Prophet, wiping her brow after hauling her catch to the judges table.
Due to a flaw in the charm set by Mr. Weasley, several enchanted ice blocks jumped out of holes in the ice without being caught, nipping South Africa’s Alistair Prinsloo’s nose. Thankfully, mediwizards were on hand to repair the damage, allowing Prinsloo to continue for the duration of the qualifying round, although he sustained a rather large scar on his nose.
Prinsloo later spoke to the Daily Prophet, confessing he feared for his life during the ice attack. “I really thought that little ice block would just chew my face off. Thankfully, I survived, and now I’m able to join my fellow athletes in the final round.”
Despite his inexperience, Krum made a surprising catch early in the game, an ice block weighing in at 21.3 pounds.
Jennifer Jones of the United States made the next catch, extracting a whopping 18-pound ice block from the water. Trailing her was Austrailia’s Jason Queensbury, with a hefty 17.6-pound block of ice.
The qualifying round finished with Li Na (China) in first, Viktor Krum (Bulgaria) in second, Jennifer Jones (USA) in third, and finishing in fourth is Jason Queensbury (Australia).
-Caliope Heartwood, Daily Prophet reporter