Other, Sports

BU quidditch nominates three for possible Olympic spot

Crouched in a huddle, the members of the Boston University quidditch team prepare for the upcoming game as captain Kedzie Teller explains the strategy for taking on its next opponent. After a loud chant, the starting seven take the field.

After waiting for the signal “Brooms up!” Teller runs toward the center of the field to pick up the quaffle before anyone else – something he has come to be known for in the Quidditch world. With three years of quidditch experience behind him, Teller, a senior in the College of Communication and one of the best chasers in quidditch, will turn toward the international sphere. Along with two of his teammates, sophomores Alice Crowe and Brendan Stack, Teller has been nominated to join Team USA at the London Olympics this summer.

“There were rumors about [quidditch going to the Olympics] this past winter but it was just this gag,” Teller said. “It started getting around the interweb, and I didn’t believe it was going to be a thing.

“It was just this rumor mill for about a month after that, and the International Quidditch Association announced that they actually had funds to send a Team USA and that the English league over there had requested that we send a squad . . . . I went absolutely nuts, and just to be nominated at this point is pretty special.”

Team USA will, at the very least, compete against the national team from the United Kingdom, but may also take on teams from Finland, France, Canada or Australia in games that will not result in medals for the teams.

The Chaser

Teller, who began his athletic career at BU as a sprinter for the track team, joined the quidditch team in the fall of his sophomore year as a way to stay active. He initially sat on the sidelines.

“I didn’t think I could get myself to run with a broom between my legs,” Teller said. “But once I saw how physical the game was and how much fun it seemed, I decided to pick up a broom and try it.”

He continued to attend practices, however, and over time it became “second nature” to him.

From there, Teller competed in the World Cup hosted by Middlebury College – where quidditch was founded – and found that he had become a team leader, without having the designation of captain.

Despite going abroad the next fall, Teller remained heavily involved in the program, eventually serving as a captain and becoming in charge of public relations and media relations for the team.

Because of Teller’s public relations and media relations position, he was the first member of the BU team to know about quidditch traveling to London.

“I’m just kind of addicted to quidditch, I can’t help it,” Teller said. “I run our website, our Twitter, our Facebook and all that stuff, so it’s my job to stay up on top of Quidditch news.”

The Beater

After finding out about the IQA’s call for nominations, the five captains from BU’s quidditch program met to discuss who it would send, ultimately deciding on a chaser, a beater and a keeper in Teller, Crowe and Stack.

Crowe, a sophomore in CAS, found out about BU’s quidditch team while at Splash her freshman year. Like Teller, Crowe did not know how long she would continue to play the sport because of how she felt running around with a broom.

“At first I don’t think I thought I was going to stick with it as long as I did,” Crowe said. “Just because the first time you run around with a broom between your legs it’s kind of ridiculous . . . sometimes it’s still a little ridiculous, but you get used to it.”

After traveling to her first World Cup, however, Crowe realized playing on the team was the right place for her.

“The first World Cup that I went to the games were at such a high level and it was so intense and I wanted to win so badly,” Crowe said. “After that then I stuck with it more.”

For Teller, who had the job of telling Crowe that she was nominated, putting Crowe’s name into the mix was a great feeling.

“If you want a female athlete in a nutshell, she is it,” Teller said. “I was really excited to see her reaction, and I saw her later that day and she was ecstatic. It was special for me as a captain to see someone really reserved actually understand that they’re appreciated and recognized for their talent.”

The Keeper

Stack had a different experience with Quidditch than Teller and Crowe. With two of his siblings having played quidditch at BU, one of whom is a current captain, Stack’s participation with the team was something he expected.

“In high school and growing up, I knew about it,” Stack said. “We’ve been a pretty involved quidditch family, I guess, and then when I came here it was just natural that I join too.”

For Stack, the excitement of learning that the Olympics will feature quidditch was compounded when he learned about his nomination.

“It’s such a great honor,” Stack said. “The BU captains decided they were going to nominate three players, and we really weren’t sure of who it was going to be.”

For Teller, who helped in the decision to choose Stack and Crowe, Stack was a good choice because of his size and ability.

“Brendan is so underrated – not on our team, our team knows how good he is,” Teller said. “If you meet the kid, he’s monstrous. He’s absolutely huge. He can block all three hoops from one spot.”

The Club

Teller, Crowe and Stack have individual fan pages on Facebook so they can show their excitement about the nomination process. Teller, who created the pages as part of his role on the executive board of the program, said this action would show how excited the three of them were for the opportunity.

“We understand that this has no direct impact, it’s just we as three people who get the honor just to be nominated,” Teller said. “I want us to have the ability to show our excitement to the community to also build support.

“It’s one thing to be nominated but what if someone is nominated and didn’t really care that much? This is our way to reach out to people. . . . It shows that we care.”

This is not the only social media crusade that Teller has been a part of in the past few months. The quidditch team is in the process of trying to become one of the first club sport quidditch teams in the country.

The team is in the process of working on a proposal and is awaiting the response of the BU’s club sports association.

For Teller, members of the BU quidditch team competing at the Olympic level could give the team the help it needs to become an official club sport on campus.

“One of the biggest difficulties we have as a sport is to get people to realize what it takes to do what we do,” Teller said. “A lot of people will say, ‘You’re not a sport, you can’t be a club sport.’

If you’re in the Olympics, you are a sport.”

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  1. BU representing Quidditch at the Olympics? Damn. Proud to be a terrier. Good job guys!

  2. Playing a game in London during the Olympics and Being in the olympics are two separate things.

  3. While I respect the BUQ’s effort to go to London, the freep has to realize that going to london during the Olympics to play a quidditch game and actually BEING in the Olympis are two separate things?

  4. While it’s true this article doesn’t stress the fact that this is not an olympic sanctioned sport (although, they do say “Team USA will, at the very least, compete against the national team from the United Kingdom, but may also take on teams from Finland, France, Canada or Australia in games that will not result in medals for the teams”) I don’t think it’s fair to downplay what’s happening. BU students representing a growing sport at an exhibition that coincides with an olympic torch ceremony? Seems epic to me.

  5. I think the freep should have clarified that Team USA will be competing in a showcase/exhibition game. However, I’m happy to see BUQ covered at all, and will be looking for more quidditch coverage from the freep in the future!

  6. Still awesome, though! One step at a time!

  7. If BUQ goes to the Olympics to play I’m definitely recording it! Team Kedzie ALL THE WAY!