Wednesday, June 20, 2012

WTOC World Trail Orienteering Championships 2012: Diary (V)

June 09th. For the first time in the World Championships, the day dawns airy. It's possible to uncover a few pieces of blue sky, the temperature is mild and the wind does not blow.

1. June 09th. For the first time in the World Championships, the day dawns airy. It's possible to uncover a few pieces of blue sky, the temperature is mild and the wind does not blow. Who refers to Dundee as "the sunny corner of the UK" knows what they're talking about. Especially after seeing the damage that the storm caused for the last hours in Wales.

2. In the final trip by Mini-Bus on the way to Tentsmuir, we have again Lyn West for company. From a new, particularly constructive exchange of ideas, I retain an advice: "Evaluate how many volunteers you will need for an event and multiply that number for two. At the times when you need most, there are always those who will not appear. For as valid as their reasons are!"

3. I feel and live intensively this last day of the World Championships. A certain nostalgia makes the forest look more beautiful than ever. The birds, in their chirping, build true symphonies and the sea, only to listen, suddenly opens up before our eyes. It's impressing the fact that we are so many around there and that we can't hear a single noise. It appears that everyone is walking on tiptoe, not to disturb the concentration of each other. In fact, it doesn't even have anything to do with the reality of our athletes, our courses, our country!

4. I am the first one to complete the race, which provides me a trip to the sound booth to say a few words. There stays my thank you to the organization that so well welcomed us, to all those who worked for these World Championships to be successful and to all of those who wanted to share with us something of how much they know. And a wish: That we meet again soon, around an ideal called Trail Orienteering!

5. It is true that the result was the one that interested the least, but I confess I expected to have done much better on this second day. Later I will realize that there are mistakes that pay dearly and I'll confirm that, in an event of this nature, beyond the mastery of techniques and an adequate strategy, the experience is the key.

6. Unlike me, Ricardo is very happy. He rose one place in the ranking and, for him, the World Championships eventually composed. The coffee we drink, while we animatedly discuss our options, tastes deliciously. We decide to have another. I arrive to the tent and I must say that this was the best coffee I drank during my stay in the UK. The lady is thankful for my words, while she tells me that now she only has one cup of coffee. Well, it's better one than nothing. It's prepared at the time. It is instantaneous, two spoons of powder are enough and there's just need to add hot water. Instant coffee, a Mokambo or something, the best coffee of this trip. Who knew!?

7. The rain makes the Awards Ceremony suffer a slight delay. It's time to celebrate the winners and to give them their deserved homage. Stig Gerdtman and Ola Jansson give a tasty double victory to Sweden, repeating precisely the same result, achieved two years ago, in Trondheim. Finland wins by teams. Britain, host of these World Championships, takes in Ian Ditchfield a lonely presence on the podium. Norway turns out to be the big loser of the Championships, failing for the first time in its history, to classify any athlete in the first six places.

8. We return to the ultimate act of these World Championships. The Closing Ceremony is again a time of great dignity, scoring by handover to Finland as the country which is organizing the next World Championships. It follows the banquet, with much fanfare and excitement, wine with the meal, sauces made from whiskey and live music. Celtic resonances music, on the loose in West Park, danced in perfection by people in skirts!

9. The living rhythms break off suddenly to give way to a plaintive ballad. The wheelchairs now tread the makeshift dance floor in front of the Auditorium stage. Lulled in the music, Chris James and Marina Borisenkova whirl around each other, playing what will be, for me, the most beautiful moment of the World Championships. Absolutely sublime!

10. Because everything has an end, it is time to say goodbye. Of the World Championships collects the experience, the conviviality, camaraderie and a rich set of ideas about the immediate future. From the conversations with Owe Fredholm, Knut Ovesen and Roberta Falda I take a couple of recommendations for the work on the European Championships in 2014. From my experience with Ricardo, our bonds of friendship are strengthened and I'm sure I can count on him for the future. By 2013, in Vuokatti!

Joaquim Margarido

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