Wizolympics 2016: Hippogriff Show Jumping Qualifier
Today, we saw the qualifying round in Rio de Janeiro ready for tomorrow’s final. There are only three spaces in the final, and tensions were felt by all in the arena today.
Here is our talon-by-talon summary of the qualifiers!
On arrival, we had some sad news from Mexico’s Oscar Gordolobo. Mr. Gordolobo had an accident while training and subsequently had to withdraw from the proceedings due to a wound from his pet hippogriff. According to eyewitness accounts, Mr. Gordolobo was attempting to bow to two hippogriffs at the same time. The incident is under investigation after a rumor circulated that the competitor was under the Confundus Charm at the time of the accident.
Those scheduled to compete today (in order of appearance) were representatives from Canada, France, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Let’s recap the rules of the qualifying event!
- Firstly, each witch or wizard must approach the hippogriff and follow etiquette to allow the competitor to continue with the task.
- Secondly, the competitor must complete a magically enhanced acrobatic routine over the hippogriff.
- Finally, the competitor must mount the hippogriff and perform an acrobatic jumping routine while on the hippogriff as the creature flies around the designated arena.
- All contestants are marked out of 10 for each section of the competition.
- The competitors must use the Ministry-provided hippogriff allocated to them on the day of the event.
Canada – Nicole Goldthread
Little has been said about Ms. Nicole Goldthread so far in the competition, and after witnessing her routine, I am confunded as to how she escaped our attention. Ms. Goldthread’s fantastic ability to work with her allocated hippogriff can only come second to the legendary Scamander family. Her graceful in-flight routine saw her push her score higher than she flew. Congratulations, Ms. Goldthread!
Ground event – 7/10, Flying event – 8/10
France – Florence Javnier
As Ms. Florence Javnier and her hippogriff were led into the arena, they were greeted by the biggest roar from the crowd yet! Although the loudest roar did appear to come from one enormous man, it was a great start for Ms. Javnier! After successfully meeting the etiquette of the handsome creature, Ms. Javnier wasted no time in completing a stunning routine over the hippogriff. As she gracefully back flipped over the hippogriff, she charmed a rainbow trail to follow the arch of her jump and slowly rain rose petals. As the final petals touched the ground, Ms. Javnier mounted the hippogriff and coaxed him into a steady pace as she performed a mesmerizing routine of jumps, flips, and a stunning combination of alternating the flips using the hippogriff. Ms. Javnier landed her final quadruple somersault on to the hippogriff, and the crowd once again exploded with cheers. The enormous man could be heard over the crowd sobbing and exclaiming, “O’, Beaky, yeh clever boy!”
Ground event – 8/10, Flying event – 9/10
India – Panju Ramuh
Mr. Panju Ramuh wowed the crowd with his ability to gain the hippogriff’s trust the quickest out of all the competitors. But shockwaves were sent around the arena as the hippogriff decided that he no longer wanted to participate in the event! The hippogriff reared up and appeared to be weighing up whether he would attack. Thankfully, our highly trained officials were quick to spot the trouble and whisked Mr. Panju away. The hippogriff then performed his own stunt flight, minus Mr. Ramuh, around the arena to a delighted crowd. Sadly for India, Mr. Ramuh was unable to finish his routine and scored a disappointing 4 out of 20.
Ground event – 4/10, Flying event – 0/10
United Kingdom – Wilkie Abbott
Rumor has it that Mr. Wilkie Abbott has been having private lessons from one of Britain’s top hippogriff trainers. In an unprecedented incident in training, the judges had to make the decision to pick a different hippogriff to the one allocated for Mr. Abbott. The competitor confessed he already knew that particular hippogriff from Hogwarts. After a difficult start to the day for Mr. Abbott, he performed a fast and regal etiquette toward the hippogriff. He jumped over the hippogriff, muttered “arresto momentum,” and performed the most stunning, slow motion, double front somersault, which included a cheeky wave to the crowd halfway over the hippogriff. It appears that he has already won over the crowd! Even without any visually spectacular acrobatics on his hippogriff, the routine was steady enough to give him another 7 out of 10.
Ground event – 7/10, Flying event – 7/10
United States – Septima Johnson
Opening today’s event, Ms. Septima Johnson appeared relaxed and calm as she entered the arena. We’ve seen this young woman work her way up the ranks of hippogriff trainers to be able to be here today. Stepping into the arena, focused entirely on the beast, she was able to complete the etiquette round in what felt like seconds before leaping over the animal into her routine. Although she performed a cautious ground routine, I have never seen such a quick change of pace when going into the flying routine! She is a talented flier and has a connection with this hippogriff like I’ve not seen – budding Magizoologists, take notes! The results are in – 13 out of 20. I’m not sure if that’s enough to go through, but she is certainly one to watch for the future!
Ground event – 6/10, Flying event – 7/10
Congratulations to Canada, France, and the United Kingdom for getting through to the finals! Join us tomorrow for the final event!