We Are The Champions

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.

Steven Bradbury

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.

Quidditch World Cup 1

Photo Credit: Ajantha Abey Quidditch Photography

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:

  1. As a nerd, knowing there is a sport out there based on a series of books about wizards is pretty cool.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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!

 

 

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42 thoughts on “We Are The Champions

  1. My favourite sport is outdoor chess. I did not know about quidditch, nor do I now. It looks pretty rugged to me. I spotted some dirty knees. I hope it doesn’t involve an oblong ball again with people sniffing each others during scrums. I have to look it up.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations Dropbears! I will have to admit to having lived under a rock. I have not read any of the Harry Potter books. I think that is the best example of how I avoid things that are popular. However, I like the name, the sport, the team and I am impressed with your coach. PS, I always root for Australia and other “underdog” countries in the Olympics. I have lost quiet a lot of interest in the summer games since they managed to figure out a way to include professional athletes in the events.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Having three young boys in the house meant Harry Potter was unavoidable. I’ll never forget seeing a Quidditch team in action for the first time at a university open day a few years ago. It made me want to be a uni student again.
      I haven’t even watched the last few Olympic games at all for much the same reason as you. It’s become so commercial. I like the Eddie the Eagles and Eric the Eels of the sporting world. Those in it to just give their best without expecting any glory. The accidental heroes.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. First – I remember that speed skating race. I was watching it on TV and nearly had a coronary when everyone fell and the Aussie crossed the line. The look on his face was priceless! He’s living proof that you should never say never. Miracles do happen!

    Congrats to the niece on an amazing win … and I had to look up a dropbear. You Aussies are a tricky lot 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s another great Youtube clip that includes an interview with Bradbury and it’s so great to hear what was going through his head. He was a bit embarrassed really. And it has footage of him getting his medal and he just keeps shaking his head. 😀

      ‘Taking the piss’ is a national pastime. 😉 You should also look up hoop snakes.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Apparently it’s a sport that rewards quick thinking rather than just sporting fitness. I like the sound of that. But it’s also a full contact sport so it’s not necessarily for book nerds. 😀 My niece played in the World Cup team last year when they placed second to the USA and we saw a demonstration of the sport at a uni open day a number of years ago so I’ve been aware of the sport. Makes me wish I was 19 again….

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Haha so happy to say I never feel for the Drop Bear story. You have enough other deadly creatures that I don’t think you need to make up any more. Quidditch you say? I want one of those brooms. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Awful lotta team-members, H !!! http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-36885893 Lovely stuff, me dear ! 🙂
    Now I shall read up on it – the real world version; I know all about the Potter version. But the clip in that article showing ’em running about with a broomstick between their legs … how uncomfortable and difficult to keep going must that be ???
    Good on your nice. Your niece, even …

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Congrats to your team and your niece, even though they beat the U.S. team. Being a football fan and having watch the Harry Potter version of Quidditch, I think it would be a fun game. Was the game televised so you could watch it?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is so strange to read – I play Quidditch at my university and spend every waking moment talking about the sport! To find this was wonderful. The World Cup was an impressive watch (and brilliant match) – but I’d hardly considered the coaches behind such amazing teams! I’m starting a muggle-friendly Quidditch blog and exploring all aspects of the sport, so this was a great find 🙂 I’ve been in contact with a few coaches in the UK – was it just your niece (who must be doing a marvelous job!) coaching these guys in the build up to the Cup??

    Like

    • So happy to hear from a Quidditch player! Congrats on starting your blog. 🙂 To be honest, I don’t know for sure if my niece was the only coach in the build up. I don’t think so. She also plays (she played in the previous World Cup) and is very involved in the city competition.

      Liked by 1 person

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