Wizolympics 2016: Body-Bind Surfing Qualifiers
Welcome to this year’s qualifying round of Body-Bind Surfing! It was an extremely exciting afternoon here in Rio de Janeiro since ten countries squared off in hopes of scoring high enough to make it to the finals. We saw Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States give it their all, and there were some huge surprises in the stadium.
A quick reminder on how Body-Bind Surfing works: There are four athletes per team, with two athletes per round for a maximum of two rounds for this event. Each pairing will have one caster and one “board” since the casters shall cast the Freezing Charm (incantation “Immobulus!”) on the other athlete to create the board. The caster shall then use the Levitation Charm (incantation “Wingardium Leviosa!” ) to levitate the board through a series of obstacles in the water with generated waves from the judges. Today’s obstacles include Quidditch hoops for the board to pass through, merpeople dispersed throughout the stadium to distract the caster, and grindylows that will attempt to capture the board. We are looking for the five best times from each round to advance to Tuesday’s final.
For Team USA, we have James Buckley, caster, and Eileen Carter, board, for the first round. Buckley’s charms were extremely well done since Carter floated with ease through the four hoops. Next up was Rob McCarthy and Edith Parker. McCarthy’s wand work started to come loose since a grindylow nearly got its hand around Parker’s toe, but he kept a steady wand until they finished safely.
Canada’s first round featured David Battista and Fred Irvin with Battista as the board at a stunning weight of 115 pounds. Irvin’s work was pretty easy since Battista glided through the course in a stunning minute-and fifteen-second record. With numbers like that, it made it easy for Debra White and Delia Cruz to soar through their round despite an attractive merman flexing his arms toward White, causing Cruz to nearly touch the waves.
Now the most shocking of the night was Eric Tatum’s performance with partner Kathy Cox from the United Kingdom. We’re being told the Wizolympics Administration is looking into Tatum’s activity before entering the field, with suspicion of consuming firewhisky, since he flat out dropped Cox into the water a mere 30 seconds into that initial round. There was no way Steven Watkins and Carrie Brandt could come back from that in the second round. Watkins seamlessly sent Brandt through the course, but the fire in both teammates’ eyes sealed the deal that this team was done.
Australia had a great start in Round 1 with fan favorites Marcus Illingworth and Austin Georg. The two met at university and have been competing together ever since, and it showed since Georg truly floated through the waves with a decent time. Bella Partridge and Abby Lymburner didn’t fare as well, a grindylow pulling Partridge under for longer than ten seconds, eliminating them from the round.
Round 1 for Germany did not go how the Daily Prophet was anticipating, with Mike Freuhauf failing to get partner Max Schiffer through the initial hoop, unable to lower Schiffer in time. Schiffer will be spending the night with some SkeleGro. Due to Schiffer’s injury, Germany was disqualified, leaving Maria Zimmer and Nicole Furst on the sidelines.
The team from India displayed the true spirit of Wizolympics since Tamal Kumar and Sanaya Sharma finished in seventh, and Kunal Malik and Marisa Patel in fifth in Round 2. Despite everything, the four were smiling and enjoying the good weather. After the games, they were found swimming casually to relax.
France exceeded expectations after a phenomenal display from the twins, Louis and Maslin Beaujolie. Karlotta Sauriol and Esmé Demers went first, with a respectful time with no deductions, which set the Beaujolies up for success. Going into the finals, this team is ready to rock. Not even a Veela could distract this quad.
All eyes were on Italy since the power couple Melanie Calabrese and Sebastiano Dellucci completed the course in 55 seconds flat. Alda Sabbatini and Vincenzo Napolitano did just as well in the following round, securing a spot in the finals that could not be disputed.
For Brazil, Isabela Cavalcanti and Arthur Costa came in a disappointing sixth after a delayed start due to Cavalcanti’s charm breaking moments after the buzzer. Anna Rocha and Erick Fernandes were unable to rescue the team since Fernandes suffered an unexpected and ironic turn of sea sickness, making it difficult to navigate Rocha through the waves.
And finally, New Zealand’s’ Rangi Governor and Moana Stanbury showed the world exactly what trusting your partner can look like since Stanbury went clean through the hoops with a respectable time. Sam Wilson and Jessica Smith delivered on a ticket to the finals with a stunning display. Wilson kept Smith out of harm and out of the grasp of the grindylows.
Advancing to the finals on the 16th is Canada, France, Italy, New Zealand, and the United States. Whom are you rooting for? Make sure to check in to see who will take the Galleon, Sickle, and Knut.