Earlier this week, Quidditch teams from the U.S., Great Britain, Canada, France, and Australia faced off in groundbreaking exhibition matches in Oxford, England, less than a month before the start of the 2012 London Olympics. When the last snitch was caught, the U.S. team emerged victorious. But the American victory isn't the only story receiving buzz.
Earler today, the online edition of Forbes Magazine published an article asking "What Can Harry Potter Do For The Olympics?" The article gives a brief recount of how Muggle Quidditch began at Middlebury College and evolved into a sport that now reaches 25 countries and 700 teams. Not only is the sport now popular with fans, but also with sponsors and advertisers, who see an opportunity to nudge their way into the Potter universe.
Forbes goes on to quote Alex Benepe, founder of the International Quidditch Association, regarding the potential of Quidditch officially joining the Olympics:
"Most people who play are nerds but we have a lot of jocks or athletes playing this sport as well, some of whom have never even read the Harry Potter books," Benepe told Reuters.
He said players happily admit they are nerds who are often teased and tormented about their sport. But quidditch, they say, is a sport and one they would like to take to the Olympics.
"We thought it would be a great time to piggy-back off the Olympics, being held in the home country of Harry Potter, and show people this is an exciting sport. There are a lot more ridiculous sports in the Olympics than quidditch."
No response from Olympic officials on whether the sport is seriously being considered.
It seems there are quite a few arguments supporting Quidditch as an Olympic sport. What do you think? Should it join as an official competitive event, where teams are awarded gold, silver, and bronze? What other "ridiculous sports" might prove Benepe's point that Quidditch belongs?
Thanks to Forbes for the article and our friends at Spartz Media for the Twitter tip!