The days go fast now in the “off-season”. Trying to work and earn as much money as possible and at the same time training enough to not lose my fitness. But to be honest I can not really call it off-season either. Emily is nowadays extremely keen on riding her bike, finding new and technical trails and obstacles and racing both mtbo and xc races. And I try my best to keep up with her (don’t want to risk her being faster than me, even though she is closing up quite quick now). This blog was planned to be written some weeks ago, but as I just tried to explain, the days are flying now.
In the end of March I went to Turkey (again). This time to the milder parts on Belek with miles on miles with a beautiful beach to the Mediterranean Sea and 25-30 degrees. Unfortunately I was only able to be outside on the “voluntarily” morning run from 6-7 am. The rest of the day I spent at IOF exhibition at the SportAccord Convention. As being one of the most versatile orienteers and the Chairman of the Athletes Commission in Ski Orienteering I was asked to represent the athletes of the IOF here. The SportAccord Convention is an annual meeting for all International Sport Federations, including the IOC and more than 100 Federations plus a number of other sport business and service providers.
For Orienteering to be present here gives us an unique opportunity to be seen outside our own sport. Most of the decision makers in international sport seemed to have a very low knowledge of orienteering. I think we really managed to promote the orienteering sport well and that we now are a much more recognised sport among the leaders in other sports, which hopefully will be valuable for the future development of orienteering.
I took part at the convention together with IOF President Brian Porteous, Secretary General Barbro Rönneberg and Assistant Secretary General Anna Jacobsson. The others were quite busy at meetings while I mostly worked in the exhibition. I was also invited to some of the meetings. For example I took part at the annual development meeting the IOF has with the IOC. Here Brian Porteous informed of the development in orienteering since their last meeting and future projects and it was clear the IOC delegates were very impressed.
After having taken part at this convention in Turkey I have become even more convinced that orienteering has a product it is possible to sell and that could attract a lot of interest from both spectators, media and sponsors at the same time as being the most exciting and challenging sport to do as an athlete. It is just about being able to show the product. Orienteering has a very interesting time in front of us, if we want it.