Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

More uninformed musings about orienteering in Canada


Walking from my office to my car afterwork, I spent some time thinking about the question, where is Canadian orienteering now?

A few more-or-less random thoughts:

Sandy Hott Johansen's result in the middle distance in Japan is really inspiring. Orienteers in Canada (and the U.S., too) can look to her result and see that a North American -- with enough work and the right situation -- can put in world class results. That was the case with Ted's 1985 result, but much as I like to think about O' in the 80s, it is so far in the past that it won't have the same inspirational effect.

The internet is a great thing -- orienteers all over Canada can keep in touch with each other and see what others are doing. It is practical to have a coach keep in close contact with an orienteer without living nearby.

Canada has great terrain and maps. Of course, the nation is huge so competing regularly in all the variety of terrain takes a load of travel.

My impression is that Canada has a special sport-culture. I might be wrong; but compared to the U.S. it seems like Canada has a stronger appreciation for athletes even if they aren't getting paid millions and appearing on TV all the time.

I think there are several cities in Canada with some pretty active orienteering groups. Hamilton is one (and the one I've paid the most attention to).

It strikes me that there are some good opportunities for top Canadian and top American orienteers to work together.

To answer the question, "where is Canadian orienteering now?" you might conclude that: except for Sandy, the level is quite close to the U.S., but both nations are at a point where they could put in some thought and organization and leave the other behind. Or, both could put in some thought and organization and both could improve. Or, both could miss an opportunity to take advantage of some favorable chances and stick and the same level. As an interested observer, it will be fun to see what happens over the next few years.

For something compeltely different

As a Christmas present for my mother-in-law, I put together a calendar of photos from our trip to Mongolia. I also recorded short commentaries about each month's photo. You can find the audio version (which includes small versions of the photos) at the Okansas Mongolia calendar 2006.

I've got a lot to learn about making audio comments (and a better microphone would probably help).

posted by Michael | 7:21 PM


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