483 ½ Wizolympics – Day 15 Update: Avalanching Final Round

Hello, hello! Barnabas Cuffe, here again, to report to you, dear Prophet subscribers! The last you heard from me was when I relayed the Snowball Fight Tournament, but since my capture and subsequent release from the Pogrebin prison of darkness, the Prophet leadership has offered me a much-needed hiatus from my coverage of the Wizolympic games.

And yet, I was never one for sitting idle. The show must go on, as they say!

To recap, the last round of Avalanching left Maxim Bagrov of Russia to face off against Alma Fernández of Argentina! Each has earned their spot in this final round for displaying great skill and cleverness in the cauldron. We’re excited to see what they’ll do today!

For his (surprisingly) specific knowledge of cauldron bottoms, Percy Weasley of the British Ministry of Magic has been asked to announce the event. We now go to him live. . .

“… each of them would appear to be using thicker cauldron bottoms this time around. Bagrov’s is made of limestone. I happen to know it because I inspected his earlier. You can really smell the lime… and they’re off!” Weasley bellowed, his amplified voice reaching the high peaks of the mountains. “Bagrov is already employing the Water-Making spell so that he can turn the snow in front of him into ice. But what’s this? Fernández is using the same technique! I wonder where she picked that one up, eh? Now the two are neck and neck – oh, how exciting, folks!”

He was right. It really was quite exciting. The two cauldron riders weaved around each other as avalanching snow passed under them in large waves. Then some incredible things happened, which took this race to the next level.

“I daresay…” Weasley continued, “Ladies and gentlemen! Bagrov and Fernández have begun to duel mid-race!”

Indeed, from my place in the audience I could just barely hear the whizzing of the Stunning Spell over the rumble of the falling mountain snow. Then suddenly… a crash! Using my Omnioculars, I watched the cauldrons crash together, and both competitors were thrown, then completely lost in the onrush of snow.

There was a silence. All was white on the mountain, and we could barely make out the tip of the red flags marking where the finish line had been.

“Stupefy!” It was Fernández’ voice. They were alive! The crowd let out a collective sigh of relief as we watched the brave competitors brush snow off of themselves and proceed to dig out their cauldrons with their bare hands (as per regulation B6-a in the Wizolympic manual), dueling each other all the while.

“Bagrov appears to be more focused on incapacitating his opponent than digging out his cauldron,” Weasley commented. “That’s bad form, bad form indeed.”

I was inclined to agree. But mere minutes later Fernández had popped a squat in her cauldron, was heading down the slope, and winning the gold for Argentina.

“Yes, Argentina gets the gold, Russia the silver. Oh, ladies and gentlemen,” Weasley cried, “let us remember this is not only a victory for wizardkind but for cauldron bottoms as well! May all cauldron makers take note of these wonderful games and strive to build their cauldrons to Wizolympic standard!”

It has been a lovely day in Sochi and a pleasure reporting to you all. If you would like to get in contact with me, feel free to send a vibe or an owl (though please try to maintain a balanced mindset if you do send the last one).

Until next time!

-Barnabas Cuffe, Daily Prophet Editor-in-Chief


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