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Athlete Profile: Louise Oram

Photo credit: World of O

Born 1984
Hometown Vancouver, British Columbia
Currently living Oslo, Norway
Club Greater Vancouver Orienteering Club
Occupation Scientific Programmer, lecturer
Training log Attackpoint

 

What was one of the highlights of your 2016 season?

Racing NAOC back in North America, as I have missed the sense of community of the events in NA.

Which race/races are you most excited about for 2017?

Tiomila, and hopefully some other fun relays.

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

Hmm… I want to go back to the karst terrain in Slovenia, and also maybe orienteering on the French coast or in the rocks near Fontainebleau (the combination with French food makes this tempting).

Tell us one fun fact about yourself.

When I visit other countries, I like to see if I can find bubble tea…

What are some of your 2017 goals outside of orienteering?

Develop my career. Learn more Norwegian.

What orienteering technique are you currently working on to improve?

Being more aggressive in races.

Tell us about other ways you are involved in orienteering (eg, coaching, mapping, organizing events…)

Currently helping with our club’s attempt to get more people active outdoors in their own neighbourhood. “Stolpejakten” – which is a large area with easy posts we put out with QR codes and you can get a really big map and find as many as you want.

What tip would you give a beginner or intermediate orienteer?

Work on developing good habits early, like folding the map and looking at/using the compass often. Also, try to analyze your races and trainings – try to get to the root of what types of mistakes are you making, but also give yourself credit for what you did well.

What sort of mental training do you do to improve your orienteering?

Analyzing races (using GPS, or just drawing my route on the map). Looking at maps of areas where races will be and visualizing controls.

Describe one of your favourite training exercises.

Before WOC 2016 I tried to do more tempo runs in the terrain, even with different speed people the faster ones can zig zag a bit and others can cut. Good to work on running technique in the terrain.

How do you use technology tools or gadgets to enhance your training (software, apps, gps watch, Catching Features, GoPro…)? Tell us about your favourites.

Trying to use GPS more to analyze my races, particularly nice now when more and more races seem to be using livelox. For example:

https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/T-ffen/Herrer-T-ffen?classId=55286                                 

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Louise is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2017 High Performance Program

Athlete Profile: Michael Svoboda

Born 1999
Hometown Calgary, Alberta
Currently living Calgary, Alberta
Club Foothill Wanderers Orienteering Club
Occupation Student
Training log Attackpoint
Blog Michael Svoboda

What was one of the highlights of your 2016 season?

Best Canadian male result at JWOC 2016 for the Middle distance (17th B-final). Third place at NAOC 2016 (first Canadian male)

Which race/races are you most excited about for 2017?

JWOC.

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

WOC Middle, Long, and Sprint

Tell us one fun fact about yourself.

Physics is interesting and super practical.

What are some of your 2017 goals outside of orienteering?

Have my acceptance finalized to the UofC, make finals at Canadian Bouldering Nationals

What orienteering techniques are you currently working on to improve?

Overspeed orienteering, Flow, Concentration, Speed Adaptation, Map Reading, Map Contact, Compass

Tell us about other ways you are involved in orienteering (eg, coaching, mapping, organizing events…)

I make ISSOM sprint maps. Also I’m on the FWOC Mapping Committee.

What tip would you give a beginner or intermediate orienteer?

Start early and be in a place with lots of young orienteers so that you have fun.

What sort of mental training do you do to improve your orienteering?

Never Stopping orienteering, 1st Control Training, Traffic Orienteering

Describe one of your favourite training exercises.

Orienteering intervals – Several short courses (alternatively parts of a long course) which I run at race pace, with breaks between each course.

How do you use technology tools or gadgets to enhance your training (software, apps, gps watch, Catching Features, GoPro…)? Tell us about your favourites.

Attackpoint, Garmin GPS watch, OCAD, Condes

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Michael is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2017 High Performance Program

Coach Profile: Toni Louhisola

ToniLouhisola

Hometown Kirkkonummi, Finland
Currently living Helsinki, Finland
Club TuMe
Occupation Coach, Entrepreneur, Student

Please list your best and proudest orienteering achievements to date.
The big victory is still to come!

What is your first orienteering memory?
I was around 10 years old and our neighbour did orienteering. He used to run to work and back five days a week. It was 18 kilometers one way. From the beginning it was clear to me that orienteering is a tough sport.

What is your favourite orienteering story or experience?
There are many – the best stories have good characters who struggle in the beginning. They navigate through various challenges until the hard work starts paying off and they enjoy success and friendship.

Is there a particular map/area where you could never get sick of orienteering?
Plenty of good areas around the world – but to name one area: Southern coast of Finland in the spring time is still great.

If you could fly anywhere in the world to orienteer, where would you go, and why?
Can not wait to fly to Canada.

If you could get orienteering coaching from anyone in the world (dead or alive) who would it be, and why?
Walter/Wayne Gretzky or Jari Litmanen. Would be interested in learning from them.

What races are on your 2013 calendar?
Tiomila, Jukola, WOC, Nighthawk in August near Oslo

Aside from orienteering, what other sports do you do on a regular basis?
Xc-skiing, cycling/mtb, hopefully getting into surfing

What is your favourite pre-race breakfast/snack?
Some porridge or a banana, coffee.

Tell us something that we might not know about you…
I am left footed and right handed.

 

Coach Profile: Brent Langbakk

BrentLangbakk

Hometown Whitehorse, Yukon
Currently living Whitehorse, Yukon
Club Yukon Orienteering Association
Occupation College English Instructor
Training log Attackpoint
Blog www.langbakk.com

Please list your proudest 2012 orienteering moment.
JWOC Women’s Relay 13th. All of the athletes performed really well.

Please list your best and proudest orienteering achievements to date.
YOA Junior Program. Being the first Athletes’ Rep and helping establish the HPP.

What is your first orienteering memory?
I didn’t start orienteering until I was 29 and I was a decent runner. It’s not the very first but one of my earliest memories was running Ontario Relay Champs with GHO. Somehow Mike Waddington found out the first leg wasn’t forked so he told me to follow Mark Tarnopolsky around the course. At one point Mark made a small mistake and stopped to relocate. I just stood there and waited for him to figure it out. I had no idea where we were. Mark tagged off first and I tagged off second about 2 steps behind him.

What is your favourite orienteering story or experience?
As a coach, it was watching Emily Kemp finish 3rd in the JWOC long. As an athlete WOC was always special but running World Cup during Oringen in front of 15000 spectators was a unique experience.

Is there a particular map/area where you could never get sick of orienteering?
Long Lake, Whitehorse. I have run on this map over a hundred times. Still if we have a meet there, I make a point of going.

If you could fly anywhere in the world to orienteer, where would you go, and why?
Venice. The street race looks amazing. I am no longer seriously competing so it would be as much for the tourist experience.

If you could get orienteering coaching from anyone in the world (dead or alive) who would it be, and why?
Lars Lindstrøm and Olivier Coupat because they have done incredible things with their respective national team programs.

What races are on your 2013 calendar?
JWOC
Canadian Champs
Yukon Champs

Aside from orienteering, what other sports do you do on a regular basis?
Cross-country skiing
Mountain biking
Badminton

What is your favourite pre-race breakfast/snack?
I usually have cereal with banana and soy milk but I’m not that particular as long as I eat at least three hours before I race.

Tell us something that we might not know about you….
I represented Canada at WOC 5 times. I was Sport Yukon’s Coach of the Year in 2010.

Athlete profile: Robbie Graham

Born 1996
Hometown Ottawa, ON
Currently living Ottawa, ON
Club Ottawa Orienteering Club
Occupation Student
Training log Attackpoint
Twitter @thekilograham

What was one of the highlights of your 2016 season?

Competing at the junior world orienteering championships in Switzerland, specifically anchoring the Canadian team during the relay. A really great week of competition for my last year as a junior.

Which race/races are you most excited about for 2017?

Canadian orienteering champs right here at home! Maybe the ski-O world cup in Vermont too.

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

Tiomila. I survived Jukola this year so it should be a breeze.

Tell us one fun fact about yourself.

I can do a headstand for a really long time. Ask me to do one next time you see me.

What are some of your 2017 goals outside of orienteering?

Compete with my university nordic ski team.

What orienteering technique are you currently working on to improve?

Visualization, such a useful skill to know what you’re going to see before you actually see it. It’s like being a wizard.

Tell us about other ways you are involved in orienteering (eg, coaching, mapping, organizing events…)

I run the Orienteering Ottawa Instagram account and am on the club’s publicity committee.

What tip would you give a beginner or intermediate orienteer?

Don’t use a baseplate compass unironically.

What sort of mental training do you do to improve your orienteering?

Visualization, meditation, and relaxation, all the good stuff that brings you to a higher plan of existence.

Describe one of your favourite training exercises.

Control picking. I love the high intensity, high concentration aspect of it.

How do you use technology tools or gadgets to enhance your training (software, apps, gps watch, Catching Features, GoPro…)? Tell us about your favourites.

I’ve recently started doing Catching Features sessions with my club and it’s great to get some training in during the cold harsh winter months.

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Robbie is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2017 High Performance Program.

Athlete Profile: Pia Blake

Born 1996
Hometown Whitehorse, Yukon
Currently living Burnaby, BC
Club Yukon Orienteering Association, but training with Greater Vancouver Orienteering Club
Occupation Student
Training log Attackpoint

What was one of the highlights of your 2016 season?

Getting the chance to run the middle final at JWOC as the first runner out was both a nerve-wracking and incredible experience.

Which race/races are you most excited about for 2017?

I am really looking forward to the 50th anniversary of COCs in Ottawa.

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

Someday I would love to go to the Oceania Championships.

Tell us one fun fact about yourself.

I speak fluent English, French and German, and rudimentary Norwegian and Spanish.

What are some of your 2017 goals outside of orienteering?

I would mainly like to work hard in university to maintain my current grade level.

What orienteering technique are you currently working on to improve?

One thing I am working on is choosing the best route choice on long legs.

Tell us about other ways you are involved in orienteering (eg, coaching, mapping, organizing events…)

I help to coach in both Vancouver and Whitehorse, and am hoping to organise at least one event in Vancouver.

What tip would you give a beginner or intermediate orienteer?

Experience as many maps as possible, even if it is just looking at them online.  Try to picture features/areas from the map in 3D and make sure you understand how the map represents features.

Describe one of your favourite training exercises.

A training exercise I have done in the past is placing a labyrinth over a well-known map, adding all sorts of extra ‘walls’ to your map.  This is especially great on forest maps

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Pia is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2017 High Performance Program

Athlete Profile: Adam Woods

Born 1994
Hometown Coquitlam, BC
Currently living Vancouver, BC
Club Greater Vancouver Orienteering Club
Occupation Computer Engineer
Training log Attackpoint

What was one of the highlights of your 2016 season?

The sprint and sprint relay at the 2016 World University Orienteering Championships were the most memorable and fun sprint courses I have run.

Which race/races are you most excited about for 2017?

I’m hoping the 2017 Vancouver sprint camp has a few courses that can rival my memories of the 2016 WUOC sprints

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

I’d love to visit New Zealand and orienteer, so the New Zealand Championships

Tell us one fun fact about yourself.

While growing up, I spent most of my summers whitewater kayaking, and know how to roll a kayak.

What are some of your 2017 goals outside of orienteering?

I graduate with a Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering in May 2017 assuming nothing goes catastrophically wrong in the first four months of 2017.

What orienteering technique are you currently working on to improve?

Maintaining focus and choosing safer routes in the last third of an orienteering course.

Tell us about other ways you are involved in orienteering (eg, coaching, mapping, organizing events…)

I am on the GVOC executive, am a coach in GVOC’s OAK junior program and train newcomers at GVOC’s weekly events.

What tip would you give a beginner or intermediate orienteer?

Don’t be afraid to take risks and make mistakes. It’s how you learn and mistakes make the best stories.

What sort of mental training do you do to improve your orienteering?

Mentally re-running a leg/legs that went well is a super useful part of my pre-race routine. However, you need to practice visualisation for it to be most effective.

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Adam is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2017 High Performance Program

Athlete Profile: Trevor Bray

Trevor Bray - Picture

Born 1995
Hometown Whitehorse, Yukon
Currently living Ottawa, ON
Club Yukon Orienteering Association
Occupation Student
Training log Attackpoint

Which of your 2015 results are you most proud of and why?

Fishbones/COC races

Which race/races are you most excited about for 2016?

NAOC and COC

Where is your favourite place to orienteer in Canada?

A tie between Ottawa and Whitehorse

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

Jukola, 10mila, Nighthawk and the Scottish 6 day

What do you like to do when you aren’t orienteering? Tell us about one or more of your hobbies/activities.

When I’m not orienteering or doing school work you can usually find me hanging out or going on adventures with some friends!

What are some of your 2016 goals outside of orienteering?

Finish up my third year of my degree at university

What’s your favourite orienteering discipline and why?

Probably the middle distance because it is the most challenging and rewarding of all the disciplines.

Tell us about other ways you are involved in orienteering (eg, coaching, mapping, organizing events…)

I have done coaching back in Whitehorse as well as some coaching in the Sass Peepre Camp

What tip would you give a beginner or intermediate orienteer?

Don’t overcomplicate things. Simplicity is key to having a calm and smooth race.

What sort of mental training do you do to improve your orienteering?

I do lots of mental training exercises including relaxation sessions, map studying and focusing exercises

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Trevor is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2016 High Performance Program

 

 

 

Athlete Profile: Alexander Bergström

Born 1995
Hometown Ottawa, ON
Currently living Ottawa, ON
Club Orienteering Ottawa
Training log Attackpoint

What was one of the highlights of your 2016 season?

Winning the Canadian Championships Middle distance race. This was the first Canadian Champs race I competed at as a senior, and wining it was a great way to start my senior career.

Which race/races are you most excited about for 2017?

The Canadian Orienteering Champs. The terrain and courses will be superb, and having it so close to home is a bonus.

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

Tiomila and Jukola. The two biggest orienteering relays should be on every orienteer’s bucket list.

Tell us one fun fact about yourself.

I am a trained Cabinetmaker and enjoy making things out of wood.

What are some of your 2017 goals outside of orienteering?

Try to Compete in a few races/events in other sports. Learn basket weaving.

What orienteering technique are you currently working on to improve?

Compass bearings. It’s an essential skill that could always use improvement.

Tell us about other ways you are involved in orienteering

I help organize races and set training courses. I have also made some maps.

What tip would you give a beginner or intermediate orienteer?

If you want to be a better orienteer get out and orienteer every chance you can. The best way to become a better orienteer is by orienteering.

Describe one of your favourite training exercises.

One of my favourites are relay simulation intervals. It involves setting several very short, forked courses. Each course begins as a mass start, and at the end everyone regroups before mass-starting the next interval. It is a great exercise for increasing your speed and staying focused under pressure.

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Alexander is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2017 High Performance Program

Athlete Profile: Tori Owen

Born 1991
Hometown Calgary, AB
Currently living Calgary, AB
Club Foothills Wanderers Orienteering Club
Occupation Nurse
Training log Attackpoint

What was one of the highlights of your 2016 season?

This year North American’s was very well attended meaning that there was a lot of good competition in the women’s elite category. It is very rare to have so many of us in on place and it was a great experience to see how you ranked against the other North American women.

Which race/races are you most excited about for 2017?

I am excited for COCs to be in Ottawa area this year with it being Orienteering Canada’s 50th and Canada’s 150th.

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

I would love to make it to Tiomila one of these years!

Tell us one fun fact about yourself.

I also enjoy rock climbing.

What are some of your 2017 goals outside of orienteering?

I just got a new job at an intensive care unit in Calgary, this has been a goal of mine for a while. I am sure the first year will be a steep learning curve, but I am excited about the change.

What orienteering technique are you currently working on to improve?

I am working on compass work, making sure my bearing is good and sticking to it!

Tell us about other ways you are involved in orienteering.

I am orienteering Canada’s athlete’s representative, which means I am a voting member on Orienteering Canada’s Board of Directors and also an active member of the High Performance Committee.

What tip would you give a beginner or intermediate orienteer?

Always make sure your map is orientated before you leave the control!

Describe one of your favourite training exercises. I have had so much fun with low key training exercises.

I have had so much fun with low key training exercises. For example: everyone that shows up gets 3-5 flags and goes and sets a loop, marking the locations on their map. Everyone returns within a set time and then once back, switches maps!

Tori is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2017 High Performance Program.