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Olympic Quidditch match not just for ‘nerds’

London is going to be overrun with athletes this summer, including the best quidditch players in the world. Team USA and Team UK will face off in an Olympic demonstration; teams from the Australian and French quidditch leagues might also make an appearance.
As a member of the Quidditch League of Ohio State, and the former vice president, I am excited to see quidditch get the truly international exposure the Olympics will provide.
While many people think quidditch is a bunch of nerds running around on broomsticks pretending to fly, there is a certain athleticism and skill level needed to play well. When quidditch is internationally recognized at the Olympics this summer, although only as a demo and not an official sport, I think some of the naysayers might change their opinions.
A few of the OSU players have been nominated to be a part of Team USA. To have OSU represented at the first Olympic quidditch match would be historic, and it would solidify quidditch as a club fellow Buckeyes can be proud of rather than embarrassed by.
Though this is an incredible opportunity for the OSU players as well as the quidditch world, I am worried that the sport is not ready for such a huge exposition. There are still rules under scrutiny and factors that differ from game to game. The human snitch, for example, is often criticized for being, well, human instead of an inanimate ball. The concept of penalty shots is also still in experimentation. An Olympic demonstration could exacerbate these issues.
However, the athleticism of quidditch’s best is impressive. After two Quidditch World Cup appearances, I have seen my fair share of amazing ability in quidditch, from kids who can jump incredibly high to block a quaffle, to snitches that can jump through hoops and beaters that can throw a bludger at 30 mph.
Quidditch might look silly, but it takes concentration, determination and athleticism to play well. Having an Olympic demonstration will hopefully highlight the athletic ability of the players, as well as encourage more people to stop judging those who play, and at least try it before brushing it off as something that’s only for nerds.

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