LONDON (CBS) – Boston will have a strong showing at the 2012 Summer Games Olympic Quidditch Expo this weekend in Oxford, England.
Read: WBZ London Eye Blog
Boston University alum Kedzie Teller, Emerson College alum Allison Gillette, and Zach D’Amico of Belmont, Mass. will all don the stars and stripes as they compete against national teams from Australia, France, Canada and the United Kingdom. Rebecca Der (also an Emerson alum) and Brendan Stack (a current BU senior) will be among the reserve players in attendance. One of the tournament’s referees, Dan Hanson, is also an Emerson alum.
Hosted by the International Quidditch Association (IQA), the event will be held in conjunction with the Oxford Olympic torch ceremony, as the Olympic flame makes it way to Oxford this Monday on its path to London. The tournament itself will take place on Sunday, with a demonstration match between the two top teams during the torch festival.
The team’s strong New England representation can be attributed to the sport’s Middlebury College origins.
“There are big teams here [in New England], so we get to play each other a lot,” explains Teller, one of the team’s ‘Chasers.’ “You’ve got to play the best to be the best, so Boston has just been a good area for breeding top level Quidditch athletes.”
The first challenge for Team USA to tackle will be the fact that the group has never trained together prior to their arrival in the UK.
“The team has never practiced,” says Gillette, a ‘Beater.’ “But, we’ve all played against each other, because Quidditch is a small community.”
According to the IQA, the goal of the event is to showcase the game made famous by the Harry Potter series as “an exciting, dynamic new sport,” during a time when the world’s focus will be on London and the UK.
“It’s not just about winning,” says D’Amico, a senior at Villanova University and Team USA co-captain. “We are representing the development of Quidditch as a sport.”
The tournament kicks off Sunday at 12 p.m. BST (7 a.m. EST). A live feed will be broadcast online.
Victoria Price is a student at Boston University, spending her summer internship reporting from the London Olympics for CBS Boston.