Believe it or not, it’s already June. Most of us have probably already started internships or summer jobs and will spend our free time lazing around in the sun, re-reading “The Hunger Games,” catching up on episodes of Modern Family and anxiously counting down the days until the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Before the games officially begin, the International Quidditch Association (IQA) will be hosting the first Olympic Expo Games in Oxford during the city’s torch lighting ceremony. According to the IQA website, the location was “intentionally [set] outside of London to avoid the complexities and security concerns in the city, and organized before the Olympics begin to make it more viable for press to come and cover the event.”
Team USA was selected by IQA Regional Directors, IQA founder Alex Benepe ’09 and team coordinator Luke Zak of the University of Minnesota, selected for his “experience and organizational skills in the sport.” Twenty-one first string players were selected, in addition to one snitch and one referee. In advance of the selection process, the IQA stipulated that Team USA would be made up of at least one player from six regions with a 5:2 gender ratio, or female players comprising 15% of the team.
A minimum of 11 players were selected based on their athletic abilities and experience with Quidditch. The remaining players were chosen due to their “fundraising, organizational, leadership and networking experience,” as well as their skill and experience with Quidditch. A second string team of understudies or “standby fliers” was selected based on the same qualifications in the event that a first string player becomes injured or is unable to attend the Expo.
The IQA received over 150 nominations for the Olympic Expo US team and in the end, not a single Middlebury Quidditch player was selected to represent the United States in Oxford.