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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 race are you looking forward to for 2018?

JWOC, O-Ringen, NAOC, COC.

When did you start orienteering?

When I was 10 in the Learn to Compete stage.

What is your best orienteering memory?

When I finished the Middle in 37th place at the Junior World Orienteering Championship 2017.

What is your favourite type of orienteering event and why?

Middle, Sprint, and Long. Because they are all different.

What’s the best orienteering advice that you’ve received?

Plan ahead / use your compass.

Who is your orienteering idol or inspiration? 

Thierry Gueorgiou.

What are some of your 2018 goals outside of orienteering?

Make it to electrical engineering. Get on the travelling roster for my Uni XC team next year. Stay in some kind of shape for climbing. Learn lots of C# and physics; quantum physics.

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Michael S is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2018 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 Engineering student at Carleton University
Training log Attackpoint
Twitter @thekilograham
Instagram @robbiejaroslav

What race are you looking forward to for 2018?

NAOCs because I’ve never been to the Yukon before and WUOC. It was such an awesome experience last time and I’m excited to race in Finland again. Not looking forward to all the mosquitos though…

When did you start orienteering?

I was actually born with a compass in my hand

What is your best orienteering memory?

Watching Alex faceplant in the finish chute of the middle quali at JWOC 2015.

What is your favourite type of orienteering event and why?

Beer-O because somehow, I manage to spike every single control while running at top speed and having no idea which way I’m going.

What’s the best orienteering advice that you’ve received?

If you want to be a champion, you’ve got to use your brain.

Who is your orienteering idol or inspiration?

Nick Manfredi

What are some of your 2018 goals outside of orienteering?
Survive my fourth year and graduate university, have some good results with the Carleton ski team.

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Robbie is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2018 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 race are you looking forward to for 2018?

I am really looking forward to NAOCs in Whitehorse!  I’m excited to get to show the rest of North America the amazing terrain we have up North!

When did you start orienteering?

I started orienteering early in life – I can’t remember a time when summers did not involve maps and exploring woods.

What is your best orienteering memory?

One memory that stands out was a chase sprint set-up in Ontario – I think 2010 – and for the first time I remember consciously reading ahead while running on a longer leg.

What is your favourite type of orienteering event and why?

I enjoy middle distances – just long enough to really get into the zone and usually in some of the most complex terrain.

What’s the best orienteering advice that you’ve received?

To never go out orienteering, even if you are training and not racing, without having a specific goal in mind to focus on and to improve.

Who is your orienteering idol or inspiration?

My orienteering inspiration is Nesta Leduc.  She truly shows how orienteering is a sport for life.

What are some of your 2018 goals outside of orienteering?

I would like to relearn playing violin, and to enjoy making music!

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Pia is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2018 High Performance Program

Athlete Profile: Adam Woods

 

Born 1994
Hometown Coquitlam, BC
Currently living Coquitlam, BC
Club Greater Vancouver Orienteering Club
Occupation Software developer
Training log Attackpoint
Twitter Name @_runwoodsrun

What race are you looking forward to for 2018:

WUOC in Finland is my main focus, but the NAOCs in Whitehorse are a close second.

When did you start orienteering?

I was introduced to orienteering briefly as a child, but 2008 was the first time I attended a GVOC event.

What is your best orienteering memory?

The WUOC sprint in Hungary was one of the most unique sprint races I’ve run. (The fact that it was my best race of the 2016  WUOC may also have something to do with it being a favorite memory).

What is your favorite type of orienteering and why?

I enjoy the forest relays due to the challenge of running in packs but having forked courses. Using the other runners to speed up your navigation while maintaining contact with the map is super rewarding when you pull it off.

What is the best orienteering advice that you’ve received?

“Have something you can run towards” – navigating becomes much easier when you can see where you want to be in the distance.

Who is your orienteering idol or inspiration?

Ted de St Croix. His 10th place finish at WOC has been very inspirational for me.

What are some of your 2018 goals outside of orienteering?

I’m a voracious reader and plan to read at least 52 books in 2018.

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Adam is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2018 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
Occupation  Tree marker
 Training log  Attackpoint

What race are you looking forward to for 2018?

The North American Champs races in the Yukon. The NAOC’s are always great races, and I have always wanted to orienteer in the Yukon.

When did you start orienteering?

I was carried around beginner courses by my parents soon after I was born, but I started orienteering by myself when I was about eight years old.

What is your best orienteering memory?

O-Ringen in 2008. It was the first real big orienteering race I had been to and was an amazing experience to see so many orienteers in one place.

What is your favourite type of orienteering event and why?

Night-O races. Orienteering is fun, but it’s more fun in the dark.

What’s the best orienteering advice you’re received?

Read the map

Who is your orienteering idol or inspiration?

Gustav Bergman

What are some of your 2018 goals outside of orienteering?

Do a XC ski race. Build a shed. Try some other sports.

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Alexander is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2018 High Performance Program

Athlete Profile: Tori Owen

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

What race are you looking forward to for 2018?

I am really excited to head back up to the Yukon for NAOC and COCs 2018. Such a magical place!

When did you start orienteering?

I think we have a photo of me as a baby playing with my Mum’s map, so on and off most of my life.

What is your best orienteering memory?

I really like the community that is involved in almost every orienteering meet I go to. Whether it is a local meet or an international competition. Orienteers are such a neat enthusiastic group of people!

What is your fabourite type of orienteering event and why? 

I think we all live for that perfect middle or long race where the map is making sense and you’re reading ahead and it feels like you’re flying.

What’s the best orienteering advice that you’ve received?

If you start to be even a little unsure where you are, slow down. Seems obvious, but I think we have all been guilty of ignoring the little voice in our head!

What are some of your 2018 goals outside of orienteering?

I am hoping to start my master’s degree in the fall.

Tori is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2018 High Performance Program.