Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Q&A #1 with the JWOC 2016 team members

In the leadup to JWOC 2016, team members were asked a number of questions about orienteering, and here are some long-anticipated results of the survey.

Caelan just floating on sunshine
As you all know, there are two main punching systems for orienteering: SportIdent and Emit. JWOC 2016 uses SportIdent, so the burning question is "How do you hold the stick?" Almost the entire JWOC team wears the SI stick on their index finger (left or right), and most wear it on the side so they can grip it with their thumb when punching (does anyone remember the Sass Peepre jingle "Thank you Pippa, 7 seconds faster..." from the 2004 COC banquet in Whitehorse?) A few people wear the stick on top of their index finger. But we have one outlier, and that's Caelan who wears his stick on the side of his middle finger. Here's the photographic proof of his heretical style (oh, and the cool sunglasses are always on, sort of channeling Cory Hart).
Don't mess with Emma S!
Robert stepping out!
Scanning for that next control!
Team members also have a few interesting rituals and talismans. Pia always gets her shoes wet before a race so that she has no hesitation stepping in water for the first time. She also likes to wear a red hairband for Canada. Emma W wears pearl earrings to help channel her inner Scandinavian. She also has a lucky hair-tie, and has a ritual of untying and retying her shoes before each race. Robbie prefers his short shorts and an unwashed sweatband (too much information, really!)

Nicole is in control!
Emma W makes it look easy!

Pia cruising on by...

To close, the JWOC 2016 team has some words of advice for up-and-coming orienteers:

Tomas: "You should never compare yourself to others. Everyone is different. Some have to work extremely hard just to get a minimal benefit, but skills may come naturally for others. You should be your best, not somebody else’s best."

Leif: "Just get out on maps as often as you can, and challenge yourself to navigate through complex terrain."

Pia: "Experience as many types of terrain as possible, even if it is just visualisation of terrain via maps found online."

Robert: "Don't over-train and injure yourself. I am of course speaking from experience."

Emma W: "Take any opportunity you get to make new friends, and enjoy yourself!"

Michael: "Train hard and remember to have fun!"

(all photos courtesy of Robert Svoboda)

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