Post by Author Jenelle L. Schmidt
Sports in Fantasy
What with the Winter Olympics going on right now, I thought it would be fun to do a post about sports in fantasy.
“But, but, but!” you sputter. “Sports and Fantasy are completely different genres!”
You might think that... and at first I wasn't sure this idea for a post would work very well, and then I realized something. What are sports other than a contest of physical prowess and skill? And there is no shortage of those in fantasy. In fact, if you found yourself suddenly transported into a fantasy novel, you might discover swiftly that being in shape is imperative to your survival!
In fantasy lands that borrow heavily from the medieval time period, there are plenty of jousting tournaments, a sport where two competitors suit up in bulky armor, climb up on horses, and race towards each other with long poles and try to impale one another, or, barring that, knock their opponent from his horse.
The more I thought about jousting, the more I realized that this is not all that dissimilar from the concept of hockey, except that hockey doesn't have horses, and you have 12 competitors all attempting similar tactics at the same time in a small space. But really, knocking each other over does seem to be one of the major identifiers of the sport.
Fantasy fiction often has tests of archery and marksmanship... which are often needed in the midst of battle or after a long trek through harsh elements and less than desirable weather conditions. The most famous occurrence of this would be Robin Hood, in which the story features an archery competition that the villain uses to lure Robin Hood to his doom.
This is not unlike the biathlon, where competitors must affix toboggan runners to their feet and then sprint through the snow on them before reaching their appointed destination and test their marksmanship.
In many respects, figure skating is a lot like magic... or at least, I've always thought so! Especially the pairs figure skating!
And if you ever did find yourself suddenly inside the pages of your favorite fantasy novel, you might discover that speed-skating and downhill slalom skiing events would have been excellent courses for building stamina as you run away from villains and dodge various obstacles as you race for your life through heavily wooded forests, fleeing various evil fantasy creatures and minions.
So there you have it. Reading fantasy is just like watching the Olympics!
I do hope you caught the tongue-in-cheek humor above. The Winter Olympics is - in all seriousness - actually my favorite of the two Olympics, and I am very much looking forward to watching all the various alpine skiing events and the figure skating (which is my favorite). I also highly enjoy the bobsled and luge events. So I'm hoping that we can figure out a way to watch some of the events.
What are your favorite Winter Olympic Events, dear Reader? Do you prefer the Winter or Summer Olympics? Do you have a favorite Fantasy Sporting event?
About the Author:
Jenelle is a rare and elusive creature known as an "author." She enjoys wandering through the woods and opening doors in search of hidden passageways. She can sometimes be found in darkened corners of libraries or coffee shops sipping hot chocolate and carrying on animated conversations with those strange and invisible beings known as "characters."
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A blog about all things fantasy from the elements we all love to how to write it. Posts are from our very own Fellowship of Fantasy authors.