Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Thank-you to our support team!

I have a friend who is a huge movie lover and every year she watches the Oscars without fail. Not only does she sit through the presentation for best film, best actress, and so on, she also makes sure to watch the presentation for Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction, and Best Editing. She firmly believes that it's important to not only acknowledge the actors and actresses, but also the talent and expertise of the background personnel that go in to making a motion picture. It's the same with any great sports team, and I want to take a moment to acknowledge those in the background who assisted our athletes who competed in Europe this year.

Team selection is one of the toughest jobs around, and the selection committees this year worked long and hard to choose the best representatives for Canada. The WOC and WUOC teams were selected by Magnus Johansson, Brian May, and Magali Robert, and the JWOC team was selected by Brent Langbakk, Katarina Smith and Nina Wallace. Selection is never an easy, nor a unanimous task, so thanks to all of you for your time and contribution!

Pam James took on the role of team leader at WUOC; going to meetings, organizing the logistics, and making sure everyone was in the right place at the right time. Thanks Pam!

Brent Langbakk has been working closely with all the HPP junior athletes this year; spending time on the phone with each athlete individually, creating individualized training plans, and kicking ass motivating athletes to train. The 'to-do' list to get those 8 athletes to JWOC was about 4.5 pages long, with Brent doing a good chunk of that work. Brent raised the level of professionalism and dedication among the junior athletes this year. Thank you Brent!

Also at JWOC was Team Leader Stefan Bergstrom. Stefan took care of a lot of the admin tasks both before and during JWOC; allowing Brent to focus on coaching. He went to the team leader meetings, made sure the athletes were on the right buses, and met them at the finish. Stefan also acted as reporter and photographer, sending daily athlete interviews and photos to the communications team for the Team Canada Blog. Thank you Stefan.

A huge thank you must go to Magnus Johansson, who has coached the HPP for many years now. Magnus has spent countless hours assisting with training plans, coaching athletes, and clamoring through with all the crazy paperwork involved in getting the team to WOC. At WOC, Magnus attended daily team leader meetings, ensured everyone was in the right place at the right time, and still found time to kick ass at the spectator races. Thank you Magnus!

Special mention also to assistant Team Leader Andrea Balakova. Andrea ensured the athletes were on time and on track, attended team meetings when Magnus wasn't available, and played an important role in helping with registration and accommodation logistics. You might also have noticed her excellent interviewing skills in some of the WOC videos this year! Thanks Andrea!

To Adrian and Charlotte, who attended many long IOF meetings, took photos, interviewed athletes, and spent time each night to email quotes, videos, and photos for the Team Canada blog. Your expertise, insights, and dedication does not go unnoticed!

Also in the background, Dave Graupner keeps track of the finances and writes the cheques. Thanks Dave for your work on this!

Over the 3 weeks of European races, Meghan Rance was up every night following the races online, and providing her insights for the blog. During the week of JWOC, Meghan Rance did an excellent job writing the Team Canada blog posts. Thanks Meghan!

Alison, the communications guru for the high performance program, did a great job this year to improve communication around Canada’s elite orienteering program. Alison has been instrumental in making sure that we’ve had consistent communication both within and outside the orienteering community. Alison wrote the communications plan this year and has been instrumental in implementing it. Thanks Alison!

It's also prudent to acknowledge the High Performance Committee (HPC), consisting of Magnus Johansson, Brent Langbakk, Adrian Zissos, Charlotte McNaughton, Patrick Goeres, Eric Kemp, Mike Waddington, and Alison Price. These guys meet once a month, and can be credited with the development of initiatives that assist the growth of elite orienteering in Canada. The HPC is always looking for technical and non-technical (such as the Team Leader position Stefan took on) volunteer assistance to develop elite orienteering. Email if you think you'd like to help out.

Lastly, thank you to our athletes: Louise Oram, Will Critchley, Patrick Goeres, Robbie Anderson, Jeff Teutsch, Eric Kemp, Damian Konotopetz, Trevor Bray, Alex Bergstrom, Emily Ross, Emily Kemp, Kendra Murray, Molly Kemp, and Kerstin Burnett. It's your commitment and drive to compete at the elite level that motivates us to help you get there.

Alison and Patrick


  1. I would like to second all of these 'thank you's! Well done!

  2. What a long list! Thank you to all of those volunteers who work in the backgraound to make COF happen.