483 ½ Wizolympics – Day 4 Update: Doxy Baiting Qualifying Round

This year’s Doxy Baiting started with a blast when the Wizolympics Organizing Committee decided to give the event a twist. Doxy Baiting has been part of the Wizolympics ever since it was declared an official sport back in the 15th century by the Russian Department of Magical Games and Sports. The game was originally played using Ashwinder eggs and Doxys; however, the practice was banned after the game’s sudden rise in popularity and the consequent increase of burnt wizards. The Ashwinder eggs were substituted by a mixture of Doxy and explosive eggs. The idea was to find the Doxy eggs hidden under the snow while avoiding the explosive Ashwinder eggs and being attacked by Doxys.

Mr. Iapetus Panogopoulous, organizer of this year’s Doxy Baiting, seemed to think the game wasn’t interesting enough because he decided to add Cornish pixies as a new obstacle for the competitors. “The event is entertaining, but after having watched the same dynamic for years, it gets boring. Cornish pixies certainly add a spark to this old game,” says Mr. Panagopoulous. New “dynamics” include new rules: The contestants will be discounted points not only for the injuries caused by pixies, Doxys and explosive eggs but also for collecting pixie eggs instead of Doxy ones.

This year’s contestants didn’t find Mr. Panogopoulous’s desire to reinvent the games amusing. “You can’t just add new creatures to a game with more than 500 years of history!” says Anacleto Abbracciabeni, Italy’s Doxy Baiting champion. “We should at least know of changes like these ones in advance!” states an outraged Fay Quigley, the UK’s competitor and winner of the Doxy Baiting event four years ago in Vancouver’s Wizolympics.

Despite the anger of the players, the event started in time with two brand new additions: Nerissa Proudfoot (US) and Tién Nguyen (Vietnam). Last games’ finalists, Hilarion Panayotis (Greece) and Erle Elwyn (Australia), were also back in the game.

The contestants began running in between the annoying pixies and the venomous Doxys, trying to find the eggs, at 9 o’clock. As the half hour became a quarter of an hour, and the contestants struggled to find the appropriate eggs while fighting their tiny enemies and hoping to avoid any explosive eggs, desperation took the worst of them, and as usual, they resorted to stealing each others eggs. In the midst of paralyzing spells, swarming creatures, explosions, and dueling competitors, Astolfo Ignacio Martínez (Spain) and Akimitsu Tsuruhara (Japan) were taken down by Stunning Spells.

And if the mayhem of the competition wasn’t enough, Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds of Hogwarts, decided to “join” the game. Apparently, he couldn’t stand the way the eggs were being handled by the competitors, so he barged into the arena, taking down Nerissa Proudfoot (US) and  Anacleto Abbracciabeni (Italy), who were stealing Doxy eggs from a distracted María Maravilla Vaca (Colombia). When the event came to an end and Mr. Hagrid was escorted out of the arena, only six contestants were left standing. The six listed below will pass on to the final game later today:

250 p – Hilarion Panayotis (Greece)

223 p – Mene Akiiki (Egypt)

211 p -Fay Quigley (UK)

198 p -Opaline Plaskett (Canada)

195- Spyridon Pasternak (Russia)

176 p -María Maravilla Vaca (Colombia)

Congratulations to the finalists; let us hope there won’t be any further disruptions today.

Live from the 2014 Sochi Wizolympics,

Katherine Nott