Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Watching "Medaljens Pris"


A bunch of the Swedish orienteers I follow on Twitter have been watching a Swedish sports documentary called "Medaljens Pris."  I figured it was worth take a look, so I fired up a web browser and watched it on SVT Play.

The documentary is about elite track and field athletes and the price they are willing to pay - mostly in terms of injuries - to try to reach their best.  The athletes come across as sympathetic, reasonable and nuts.

A lot of TV documentaries take a clear stand.  People are either good or bad.  Smart or dumb. Strong or weak.  In other words, make people a lot less complicated than they really are.  But "Medaljens Pris" doesn't really do that.*  And that's a strength of the documentary.

A few quick thoughts:

1.  When I was watching the temperature outside was 105F (41 C) and watching a hill interval session in the forest with some snow on the ground was very nice (around 9 minutes into the documentary).

2.  Watching video of athletes getting hurt is not fun at all.

3.  If an athlete can figure out how to train without getting injured they'll have a huge advantage.  That balance of short-term versus long-term is tricky to find.

4. I can understand taking a pain medication to deal with the discomfort of an injury, but taking pain medication to hide an injury so that you can train is nuts.  But I can also understand it.

5.  Training for orienteering - running through the forest with a map in your hand - is a whole lot more fun than training to run on a track.

* The coach they interview comes pretty close to being portrayed as one dimensional and that one dimension being bad.

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posted by Michael | 8:14 PM


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