Friday, April 26, 2013

A Blast From The Past!

After two months full of orienteering in Portugal, Spain and France. I dropped by to visit a place where it all began for me - Moldova.

While the above picture looks somewhat gloomy, it is no longer the case here, with consistent 25°C+ weather for the past week and a half. The countless rolling hills and vineyards bring up deep nostalgic feelings in me, reminding of the times when I grew up.

Unfortunately after a very successful March training in France, I slipped in some mud and hit my knee on a rock, therefore I had to take it easy for a week and a half, with easy jogging every-other day. This was a good opportunity to visit many of my old friends and relatives, and remember the good old days. It was an especially interesting experience stitching together the recollections of the sections of the city I have from childhood - I perceive it completely different now; much smaller that's for sure!

For a while I actually enjoyed doing every-day things, such as going to the market or riding the overcrowded public transport, just so I could hear and speak the language, and observe the people, from where I used to live. While it's a great, nostalgic experience, it also forces you to notice the level of life people are living. The countless homeless people and animals, alcoholics, poor road conditions, as well as extremely aggressive driving and peoples' manner of communication in general. I also had the misfortune of attending a school friend's funeral... While all of these experiences bring a lot of nostalgic memories, it also reminds, and makes me more appreciative of, the decision of why my parents decided to move to Canada!

As my knee started to get better, I attended a fairly big, annual, orienteering competition. It was pure pleasure seeing all of the old friendly faces from the orienteering community. Running through rolling terrain of the beautiful open forests where my parents left behind a legacy in my last name was an incredible experience, and I had a decent run as well, except for poor routechoices to 4 and especially 9, a mistake at 16, and most importantly, being late for my start-time by more than a minute...

I was fairly pleased with the level that orienteering in general is at in the country. There are plenty of up-and-coming young guys around my age training hard, who have taken over the Elite category. The middle-aged categories are extremely competitive as well, especially on the men's side, filled with all of the competitors my parents ran with back in the day. There were about 4 buses completely filled with kids from all the nearby cities and villages, of all ages, but all very eager and enthusiastic. It is truly a great experience for them to live in tents, cook food on campfires and orienteer, as one big family for a weekend. Certainly also brings back lots of memories. Competitions of all sizes are fairly frequent throughout the season, as well as lots of great continental maps, all throughout the city, with a new, quality map made every year. Makes me appreciate the mindset and culture around quality orienteering here. In fact, my grandmother's place that I'm currently staying at is located on a park sprint map, which had been recently updated; with another, bigger but older map, right across the road from it. I am back to 100% and taking full advantage of these parks right beside me. :)

Looking forward to going to Sweden for two months in May! It will be a time with LOTS of orienteering on some incredible maps! Will try to keep everyone updated.

Confirmation of Intent for World Orienteering Championships (WOC)

These athletes have indicated that they wish to be considered for selection to the 2013 WOC team:

Damian Konotopetz
Eric Kemp
Forest Pearson
Jeff Teutsch
Will Critchley
Jon Torrance
Nick Duca
Robbie Anderson
Serghei Logvin

Louise Oram
Emily Kemp
Kendra Murray
Kerstin Burnett

You can find more information about the selection process in the Athlete Handbook.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Recovering from injury

I have recently injured my ankle again but this time I am being a lot smarter about it. Last time I had this injury I rested it for a week and ran, played volleyball, basketball and soccer on it. It took me a long time to trust my ankle again well I was orienteering, instead of focusing on route choice and attackpoints I was think don't roll my ankle even thou it was taped. I was also stupid and didn't see physio till 2 months after I was injured.

This was in the Juneau airport waiting to go home

This time around I was playing soccer in Juneau, Alaska and went over on it but I was smart as soon as I got home I was icing and elevating it multiple times a day. I went to emergency to make sure I didn't brake it and luckily I didn't. I was on crutches for 3 days and elevating and icing. I took it slow when I got off them. I started off walking and progressed into running, I did trying swimming but I am a sinker not a floater.

This was 2 days after I got back

I had trouble trying to get a physio appointment but I got one a lot sooner this time. The physio told me I can't run which is a huge pain in my rear end but also smart because I was compensating for my ankle well I was running. I was hurting my back and my right hip. The nice thing is she gave me alternatives so I can keep up my cardio. She also showed my how bad my injury is when I thought it was nothing. She also gave me great exercises to help get full rotation back and start strengthening the muscle.

This was about a week and a half later

Injuries are hard to deal with. Some parts of your body might be saying yes you can do this but other parts might be saying no this is bad stop. It is always good to rest the first few days after an injury I have found and go see a physio to see what you have damage because you might be surprised with what they find. I thought my injury was just some muscle in my foot but it turned out to be a lot worst and know I am on the road to recovery and I am doing it the smart and right way this time.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Orienteering Canada Announces the 2013 Rising Star Awards

Orienteering Canada’s High Performance Committee (HPC) is pleased to announce the 2013 Rising Star Award recipients. The Rising Star Award is an annual award designed to support Canada’s most promising young orienteers in their quest for top international results. The nominees are assessed on past results, future potential, and contribution to the orienteering community, as well as financial need.  
Our female Rising Star for 2013 is Emily Kemp. Originally from Ottawa, Kemp has been living and training with the French Elite Orienteering Squad, Le Pole, in St. Etienne, France for the past 2 years.  Kemp had a breakthrough season in 2012, culminating in a bronze medal in the long distance race at the Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC); Canada’s first ever medal at JWOC! Kemp is the current Canadian Champion in the long and sprint disciplines. As well as being tirelessly available for media interviews after her bronze medal win, Kemp has also inspired up and coming Canadian orienteers by participating in Skype training sessions and volunteering at the annual Sass Peepre Camp, a camp for 10-20 year old orienteers from across Canada.
When asked what this award means to her, Kemp said, “I am extremely grateful to win this award since it will be a ginormous financial aid for running the world cups and world champs this year. A humongous thank you to the HPP (Canada’s High Performance Program) for helping me and other athletes take orienteering in Canada to the next level!”
Our male Rising Star for 2013 is Serghei Logvin. Logvin had notable results at the North American Orienteering Championships in 2012, including achieving silver in the long distance race, and running the anchor leg for the winning Canadian relay team. Logvin has been very active with the Adventure Running Kids (ARK) program in Hamilton, ON, inspiring up and coming junior athletes. Logvin is currently training in Europe with the specific goal of improving his orienteering.
"Spending quality development time in Europe is a very important piece in the puzzle for me towards reaching my potential”, said Logvin. “The Rising Stars Award will make it a lot easier, both short, and long term. I really appreciate the support, and know that my best results are still yet to come! Thank you!"
You can follow Emily and Serghei through the 2013 orienteering season:
Emily Kemp Athlete Profile

Please join us in congratulating Serghei and Emily!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Orienteering Canada appoints Toni Louhisola as Canadian National Team Coach

Orienteering Canada’s High Performance Committee is delighted to announce that Toni Louhisola has been appointed as the volunteer Canadian National Team Coach for the World Orienteering Championships. Toni will work with senior athletes selected to represent Canada at the World Orienteering Championships in Vuokatti, Finland this summer.

Toni brings a wealth of coaching experience, including 4 years as Lead Coach for the Great Britain National Orienteering Team. He is a level 3 coach certified by the Finnish Orienteering Federation. Toni was ranked top Finnish junior in 1996, and ranked in the top 20 orienteers in the world in 2004.

When asked how he feels about this appointment, Toni said, “Personally I am looking forward to working with Team Canada HPP athletes, volunteers and Canadian orienteers and clubs and I hope to have a lasting positive impact on the development of the athletes and to help drive the sport forward in Canada. I hope we can all enjoy the journey. I have a holistic approach to coaching but the focus for this spring and summer is to challenge the athletes and coaches to strive towards more effective orienteering thinking, and to contribute to a culture of systematic technical training, feedback, and analysis.

Toni will travel to the Canadian team selection races in May. From there he begins a 4 week tour of Canada, with stops in Ottawa, Calgary, Cranbrook, Canmore, and Vancouver. Toni will have the opportunity to work one on one with many of the Team Canada athletes, as well as local junior and recreational club members. For more information on Toni’s schedule, please contact Adrian Zissos at

A full profile ofToni is available on 

Please join us in welcoming Toni to the Orienteering Canada community. 

Go Canada Go!