Australians like to think of themselves as a sporting nation. We have our own native football game, a Formula One Grand Prix, one of the greatest horse races in the world and we tend to punch above our weight in the Olympics, at least in the pool. We even have Winter Olympic gold medallists. Not bad for a country with no snow for most of the year.
At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Steven Bradbury won gold in the 1,000m short track speed skating event. He won because he managed to stay on his feet while all his opponents fell over.
In Australia, achieving something because everybody else failed is now known as “doing a Bradbury”.
Australians love a winner but we especially love a winner against the odds.
Anyone who knows me well will be wondering what on earth inspired me to write a post about sport because it’s not my favourite thing in the world. In fact, I actually loathe our national game. Living in a town obsessed with its football club, this is tantamount to treason and I’ve had many a robust discussion with fans about the (to me) undue influence the club holds (particularly on the local government purse strings).
But let’s not get into that.
So why am I talking about sport now?
Because Australia has just proved itself the true champion of the world with a spectacular win in an international sporting competition.
We just won the Quidditch World Cup.
For the uninitiated (or those who have been living under a rock for the past twenty years), Quidditch is the sport played in the Harry Potter books written by J.K. Rowling. It’s been adapted to be played by people who can’t actually fly and is now an international sensation with sporting clubs all over the world.
I have felt compelled to share this news for three reasons:
- As a nerd, knowing there is a sport out there based on a series of books about wizards is pretty cool.
- I am in love with the national Quidditch team’s name. They’re called the Dropbears. Australians use the existence of the highly dangerous dropbear to scare tourists about the dangers of walking in the bush. (At least, we use it on those easily susceptible to bullshit.)
- The coach who led this team to victory over the until-then-undefeated United States is my niece. That is very cool.
That’s a sports victory I can definitely get behind.
Congratulations to the Dropbears and especially to their coach, Gen Gibson. You are the champions!