483 ½ Wizolympics – Day 7 update: Wand Skating
Welcome back to Wand Skating at the 483rd ½ Wizolympics. It’s warm weather here in Sochi, but Freezing Spells are in effect here inside the dome that houses our skating rink. There is no lack of ice here. In fact, the ice has been cleared and is now a blank canvas ready for our next competitor to make their mark on.
As Claire Labelle of France takes the ice, let me recap for those of you who missed the morning update. Labelle is the third of the French to have their go at impressing the judges today. The first two, Jacqueline Glaisyer and Eugene Monet, did a splendid job with their allotted time on the ice, both earning 10s from Gilderoy Lockhart, our celebrity judge, and high marks from the rest of our panel . Glaisyer is in the lead with a 28 ½, and Monet is holding on to second place with a respectable 25 ½.
Now, let’s see how Claire Labelle is able to rank among her friends from France. She begins to skate and wave her wand. Out of her wand tip erupts blue sparks, then white, then red. Her wand continues to cycle through the colors of the French flag as she skates around the perimeter of the rink. There are loud cheers from the five remaining spectators, who are all clad in the colors of Labelle’s home country.
Now, for her first figure. Labelle pauses for dramatic effect, then raises her wand to conjure a tiny dragon wearing ice skates. It looks like a Chinese Fireball. The dragon skates in a surprisingly graceful fashion in front of Labelle’s feet. It not only etches a design with its tiny skates but also begins to melt the ice in certain places with its breath, to add shadowing and contours to the image.
Now that the dragon is finished, Labelle steps aside to gasps from the onlookers. The image on the ice is a clear depiction of a dragon breathing flames in the direction of a figure huddled behind a bush on fire. This is a clear tribute to Labelle’s close friend, Adelaide Berger, who had an unfortunate accident during a Dragon Wrangling event in the last Wizolympics. As the judges wipe tears from their eyes, Lockhart applauds enthusiastically. What a beautiful tribute we have just witnessed.
Labelle finishes off her display by shooting another round of France-colored sparks in the air, before scooping up the miniature dragon and exiting the ice to the adoring cheers of the French supporters. Labelle needs at least a 29 to move past Glaisyer and into first place. The judges present their scores. That’s a 10 from Francine Dubois, who is wiping tears from her eyes, a 9 ½ from Sir Boris Markov, and a 10 from Gilderoy Lockhart. Labelle has moved into the lead! Glaisyer slides down into second place, and Monet is behind her in third.
Next up is the only competitor that is not French, Giorgio Gentile of Italy. Gentile looks well prepared, wearing a red and white warm up suit. He steps on to the ice with an air of confidence even though the stands are now completely empty since the French supporters have all left, being fairly certain of the event’s outcome.
Gentile is losing no time; he is already conjuring his first figure…. oh, wait, no, it is not a figure. He appears to have summoned a five course meal from somewhere, perhaps from his hometown in Italy. Mouthwatering plates of pastas fly through the air. One platter of meatballs almost hits Gilderoy Lockhart in the head as it flies a little too low over the judges’ table.
All the platters land in front of Gentile, who looks pleased with the outcome. He gestures to the assortment of food with a flourish of his extended hand. As he points his wand at the plates, they begin to rearrange themselves. They shuffle about the ice as if doing some sort of dance routine.
The judges look confused. I would have to agree with them. While the food looks delicious, there are no figures. By this point in the program, he should have conjured his first figure. There simply is not enough time left for him to do so. Gentile waves his wand and a small chef figure pops onto the ice, but there is no time for the figure to make a design. Gentile vanishes all the food and the figure and waits for the judges’ scores, looking hopeful. Francine Dubois gives him a 5, Sir Markov gives a heartbreaking 3, and Gilderoy Lockhart awards Gentile a 10. There was talk about Lockhart’s inexperience with anything to do with Wand Skating, but I will give him this: At least he is consistent in his judging.
So the gold medal goes to Claire Labelle, silver goes to Jacqueline Glaisyer, and bronze goes to Eugene Monet. Unfortunately, Italy missed out on a piece of the hardware this year, but maybe next time they will send someone who knows the goals and rules of Wand Skating a little better next time. France once again takes home all the top honors in this year’s Wand Skating event.
-Quilla Rag, Daily Prophet reporter