This morning we saw things heat up in this 483 ½ winter Wizolympics, as the Dragon Wrangling event got underway. Seven competitors circled around Reginald Indra, the son of dragon keeper Kevin Indra and referee for today’s event. Indra is a stout man with dark, curly hair and rather thin arms. Perhaps his father’s invention of the Smoke Spell (Fumosis) made it unnecessary for any physical force when taming dragons, therefore causing the younger Indra not to grow any muscles.
The goal of this event is simple, making it one of the most viewed of the Wizolympics, because there isn’t too much you need to understand to be able to enjoy it fully. The competitors are each assigned a dragon. The first to successfully mount their dragon and ride it for one full lap around the arena wins. The only rules are as follows: You have to mount only your assigned dragon, you must be seated on its back (not dangling, standing, or riding its tail), and you will only be removed from the arena if you are unconscious or forfeit.
The crowd for this event is rowdy but not loud enough to drown out the roaring of the dragons waiting to be released from their cages at the far end of the arena. The arena’s frozen ground is ideal for this event, nothing to catch fire like in previous Wizolympics. Fresh in everyone’s minds, I’m sure, is the unfortunate situation faced by France’s Adelaide Berger in the 482nd Wizolympics. Berger had the misfortune of choosing a hiding place behind a very large, very flammable, burning bush, which did, in fact, end up burning. Berger is still recovering from her injuries, but sources close to the athlete have said that she is currently training in the less firey game of Wand Skating, and she may be ready to compete in that event as soon as the next Wizolympics.
Indra passes out cards with the picture of the dragon each individual will be wrangling to all the competitors. China’s Long Huo looks visibly disappointed that he did not receive the Chinese Fireball. The Chinese are known to train on the dragons native to their country in the offseason. It would have been a nice advantage to be dealt that particular dragon, but Huo is assigned the Romanian Longhorn. Mollie Hornsby of the UK is assigned the Norwegian Ridgeback, Fredrick Drachen of Germany gets the Peruvian Vipertooth, Christopher Drake from the US is given the Swedish Short-Snout, Petre Cojocaru of Romania receives the Hungarian Horntail, Liubomir Yankov of Bulgaria is assigned the Chinese Fireball, and Russia’s Ryurik Stolypin gets the Common Welsh Green.
Once everyone has their assigned dragons, the whistle is blown, and the competitors scatter. There are not many good hiding places in the arena this year, just a few small rocks. A few of the competitors crouch behind these, wands drawn at the ready, while Petre Cojocaru stands out in the open in what is either a bold move or a lack of knowledge. The Romanian Cojocaru has been in the sport of Dragon Wrangling for years, so there is no doubt that he is trained, but he does seem more interested in a young witch in the front of the stands than in the dragon that has just been released from its cage.
The dragons enter the arena, breathing flames and melting the snow as they walk. Most of the competitors are waiting, braced, until they decide what their first course of action might be, but Liubomir Yankov promptly charges from behind his rock toward the Chinese Fireball, which sends flames his way immediately. Yankov douses the incoming flames with a quick Water-Making Spell. The rest of the competitors, not wishing to be left behind, follow suit, charging their assigned dragons and dodging fire.
The Vipertooth, the smallest of the dragons in the arena, charges Germany’s Fredrick Drachen, who attempted a few spells on the beast but not fast enough – the Vipertooth is fast enough to dodge incoming spells. Drachen, clearly caught off guard by the speed of his dragon, turns to run but is quickly overtaken. Vipertooths are known for their venomous fangs, so to have one catch up to you in a race is not a good thing. Drachen quickly discovered this for himself, as trainers forced the dragon back into its cage on the side of the arena, and medics removed Germany’s unconscious competitor from the arena for immediate attention.
Mollie Hornsby of the UK attempted to levitate herself onto the back of her dragon, but the Norwegian Ridgeback kept pacing back and forth, making it difficult for Hornsby to line herself up properly for the drop.
The US’s Christopher Drake, a tall, blond, young man in his early twenties is inexperienced in this event, but he has shown great promise in national competitions. Unfortunately, he does not appear to be at his best today. I can’t say I have ever seen anyone try a Cheering Charm on a dragon. As the Swedish Short-Snout relaxed, it let out what must be dragon giggles. Drake, looking pleased and elated with his ingenuity, ran up to the dragon. He started to mount it, but the Short-Snout relaxed a bit too much and laid down to enjoy the cool ground, pinning Drake down in the snow underneath its massive body. Drake is left to struggle; he is not unconscious, but he is certainly not going to forfeit this game either. The Short-Snout happily sniffs the air and observes the rest of the chaos happening around it.
~ Quilla Rag, Daily Prophet reporter