Wizolympics 2016: Brazilian Wizard Warrior Semifinals

Heartbreak and disappointment colored the faces of competitor and spectator alike after today’s brutal second round of Brazilian Wizard Warrior. The set of spinning, circular obstacles for the semifinals proved much more challenging to today’s group of competitors than the course they completed with relative ease yesterday.

Japanese competitor Riko Kobayashi finished the course but almost fell into the water during the first obstacle, the Terrible Twirl. Kobayashi spent a long time trying to figure out how to bypass the frightening feature, a log poised to roll down a long ramp, laced with spikes that pop out of it as it rolls. He finally settled on a Chopping Charm, which carved out some nice, spikeless grooves to hold onto. Halfway down the ramp, the log split in two and toppled into the water. Kobayashi managed to catch himself on the ramp and spent almost two minutes inching his way to the next platform.

The Terrible Twirl gave a lot of trouble to Amanda Nicolau as well. Elizabeth Channing, Wilson Davies, and Li Qiang all managed to wrap themselves around the log successfully after Transfiguring the spikes into bursts of confetti, but Nicolau had to decide between eliminating the danger of the spikes and securing herself to the log. She used a Welding Charm to melt some of the spikes together to give her handles to secure her arms and legs, and then she bobbed and weaved around the remaining spikes as she spun all the way down to the next platform.

Wilson Davies and Boris Vodenicharov succumbed to the second obstacle, the Siberian Spin. Competitors had to leap across five whirling, icy platforms that would melt if stood on for too long. Davies and Vodenicharov attempted to stop the platforms from spinning, but the enchantment was too powerful for them to stop altogether. The platforms were spinning too fast for them to take leap before the ice melted, and their time at the Wizolympics ended with a splash.

None of the other competitors had a particularly difficult time with the obstacle, but Claudia Jacobs blew everyone else’s time out of the water. She combined all five platforms into one giant one and held onto the outer edge for dear life; before the platform could melt, she let go and was flung all the way to the other side! This kind of daring is what the Wizolympics is all about!

The competitors from Brazil, China, South Africa, and the UK made quick work of the day’s final obstacle, the Hurricane Hoops. Eight hoops hung on ropes, rotating wildly due to the small but powerful hurricane raging within them. Amanda Nicolau, who’s exceptionally powerful with weather magic, quelled the hurricane to nothing more than a windstorm, allowing her to move from one hoop to the next, making her away across with ease. While the others weren’t able to calm the raging storm, they extended the length of the ropes holding the hoops, diminishing the storm’s power over them.

While Elizabeth Channing overcame the Hurricane Hoops, she wasted a lot of time and strength after she cast a rather disastrous spell. After the event, she told reporters,

I meant to use a Freezing Charm to render the hoops immobile, but I misspoke and cast an Iron Spell instead. All of the plastic hoops turned to iron. They were too heavy for the ropes and… I was so upset. I felt like Wizard Baruffio.

Channing braved the cyclone and managed to swing from the remaining ropes and complete the obstacle but lost precious time for her mistakes. Jacobs, Kobayashi, Nicolau, and Qiang all finished the final obstacle as well, but only three contestants can move on to the final round.

Qiang finished with the best time at four minutes and thirty-five seconds, Jacobs came in second with a four-minute-and-forty-six-second run, and Nicolau beat out Kobayashi by just twelve seconds with her five-minute-and-nine-second-long run.

The atmosphere was quite emotional after Nicolau, who went last, finished her run and kicked Kobayashi out of the finals. Channing and Qiang, long-time rivals in the International Charms Relay, shared a teary embrace when the finalists were announced.

Next Thursday morning, Li Qiang of China, Claudia Jacobs of South Africa, and Amanda Nicolau of Brazil will be competing for the Brazilian Wizard Warrior Galleon! Be sure to check out the MuggleNet Live! Twitter for live Tweets of the final round, and tune into the rest of the Wizolympics to see if your favorites are taking home the Galleon.

Madison Ford

I’m a native Texan currently living in the Pacific Northwest with my husband and our feisty dog Ellie. I’m a poet, a reader, and I host and produce MuggleNet’s mental health Harry Potter podcast, Beyond the Veil. I love rock climbing, hiking, and searching for seashells on Oregon beaches.