WASHINGTON – The formerly fictitious (but now very real) game of quidditch may earn more credentials as an actual sport if fans have their way.
The governing body of the sport, thought up by J.K. Rowling for the “Harry Potter” fantasy books, believes quidditch deserves a place at the Olympics.
“We thought it would be a great time to piggy-back off the Olympics, being held in the home country of Harry Potter, and show people that this is an exciting sport,” Alex Benepe, one of the sport’s founders, told Reuters. “There are a lot more ridiculous sports in the Olympics than quidditch.”
The “muggle” version of the game was first thought up at Middlebury College in 2005, and became organized by the International Quidditch Association in 2007. This year marks its first international tournament, held last week in Oxford, England. It now has a strong following with teams in 25 countries, including the U.S., Britain, Canada, France and Australia. Quidditch even has a World Cup.
Benepe tells Reuters his fellow players happily admit they are nerds, but “sporty nerds.”
“Most people who play are nerds but we have a lot of jocks or athletes playing this sport as well, some of whom have never even read the Harry Potter books,” Benepe, dressed in a three-piece suit and top hat, told Reuters.
It wouldn’t be the first time an alternative sport made it to the world-renowned athletics event. Cracked.com reports Swimming Obstacle Race, Pelota and Solo Synchronized Swimming are among the other events that have made it to the games.
Check out this footage of what could be the next great thing on the medal stand: