Wizolympics 2016: Brazilian Wizard Warrior Qualifiers
Today, we witnessed the qualifying round for one of the Wizolympics’s most exciting new events. Warrior witches and wizards from across the globe competed to be the next Brazilian Wizard Warrior, an obstacle course event inspired by its Muggle predecessor, American Ninja Warrior.
Participants from Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Germany, Haiti, Italy, Japan, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States competed for the top seven spots to move on to the semi-finals. The whole day was a bit messy and unorganized, considering this is the first year the event has been held, but there was only one major burn injury, one case of head trauma, and a two-hour delay mid-event; ultimately, the day was deemed a riveting success.
For our many readers unfamiliar with the rules of this new event, here’s how the competition goes:
- Athletes must bypass a course of obstacles that have been enchanted or have innate magical qualities.
- Participants can cast one spell on the obstacle to help them get past it. Conjuring and Vanishing are strictly forbidden.
- Participants may cast the spell at any time during their run of the obstacle. If they cast the spell before they attempt the obstacle, they have five seconds to begin before they are disqualified.
- Each obstacle is brand new, preventing participants from training for their encounters beforehand.
- Participants cannot observe those competing before them to prevent unfair advantage.
The qualifying round had three obstacles, and competitors started their day by braving the Burning Mountain. It featured a cliff face with a ledge so narrow participants had to push themselves flat against the wall to avoid falling; however, the magma oozing down the cliff face made it quite difficult for participants to select their physical and magical strategies.
Li Qiang of China started the day off with an incredibly powerful Freezing Spell, which rendered the magma solid and harmless, allowing him to sidle across to the next obstacle. Contestants from Australia, Bulgaria, Germany, Haiti, and the UK also employed Freezing Spells of varying power to bypass the obstacle.
Elizabeth Channing of the United States created a barrier from the existing rock to prevent the magma from flowing down the cliff. Italian, Japanese, and South African contestants employed similar strategies; unfortunately, Fia Fontana of Italy didn’t create a strong enough barrier, and the magma erupted through her shield and burned the flesh off her fingers. Fontana discontinued her run, and trained Mediwizards came to the scene; she had her finger flesh regrown by the end of the event. Egyptian and Spanish contestants received no burns from the magma but failed to keep their balance on the narrow ledge, succumbing to the water and ending their chances to become the Brazilian Wizard Warrior.
Due to a rare magical illness, Brazilian contestant Amanda Nicolau has only ever been able to walk with crutches, but she used her wits and upper body strength to bypass the first obstacle faster than anyone else. She created a large, rocky basin to catch the magma and then grabbed onto the cliff face with her fingertips, inching down the rock wall at record pace.
Contestants moved on to the Viscous Vines, a series of hanging vines that emit sap as sticky as super glue when they feel threatened. This proved a rather simple challenge to most of the contestants, who were able to recognize the vines thanks to their Herbology skills.
Unfortunately, Gisela Myope of Germany did not recognize the vines for what they were. Rather than casting a Calming Charm or something to soothe the vines as they were being touched, Myope cast a spell to lay the vines out across the water like a bridge. Less than two steps down her makeshift bridge, her feet got stuck as the vines emitted their sticky sap, and she tripped and fell face first into the gluey mess. The sap dripped into the water below, creating a gelatinous fluid that took event coordinators more than two hours to clean out before the course was ready for the next competitor.
The final obstacle was the Bucking Bronco, a cursed broomstick contestants had to tame so they could fly across the gap to the final platform. Li Qiang, Elizabeth Channing, Wilson Davies from the UK, and Bulgarian Boris Vodenicharov were able to successfully right the curse that had been placed on the broomstick and ride across the gap with ease. Ricardo Saint-Ange of Haiti almost managed to break the curse but didn’t have enough power behind his wandwork. The broom bucked him off into the water almost two-thirds of the way to the finish line.
South African Claudia Jacobs and Japanese Riko Kobayashi successfully Transfigured the broom into a bird and flew across the gap. Ava Robinson of Australia attempted to do the same, but her bird flew just as jerkily as a cursed broomstick and flung her out of the obstacle course and into the crowd. Trained Mediwizards rushed her to the medical tent and sent word to the crowd an hour later that she had received a moderate concussion and would be perfectly fine after a night of rest.
Amanda Nicolau surprised everyone again with her strength of body and mind by casting the Engorgement Charm on the broomstick so it grew so large it got stuck between the structures holding up the two platforms. She held onto the broom with her fingertips and climbed over the water as easily as a child using monkey bars on a playground.
Exactly seven competitors completed the first course, so athletes from Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Japan, South Africa, the UK, and the US will be competing in the semi-finals tomorrow morning. Tune into the MuggleNet Live! Twitter for live updates on the competitors, and we’ll have the results here tomorrow! Whom are you rooting for?