A few hours of distance since the end of my race, when walking off the podium, but still with a roller coaster of emotions inside. Tears came and left all afternoon, and even if most of them were of joy, still some thoughts of what might have been reachable... so close and still so far away!
I've never taken an individual gold internationally, so medals are BIG in my world. Imagine hours of discussions and planning (mostly with my coach Kalle Dalin), followed by implementation, are to be summarised in one piece of metal. Right there and then, that piece of metal is important, but in a short while it's all about memories and the feelings they create, and it's not the medal itself, instead it's the pictures that show my smiling eyes that is a proof of my joy and satisfaction. They can still bring on tears in my eyes and satisfaction in my chest.
Around one year before this day, I walked slowly and painfully along a road towards the finish area, with a beautiful map in my hand... I felt as if that course was made just for me and it was a pity I could not run through it (stress fracture in left heal bone/calcaneus set in one day before the long final). When the terrain description of WOC long in Finland was sending the same signals, I was a bit afraid of "jumping on that train", but I wanted it so badly and being able to run during the World Cup at NZ again, my next goal was the WOC long distance. I'm proud of my struggle towards this day, not following the "proper spring orienteering schedule" and I enjoyed more metres than anytime before I got there!
Lena Eliasson, Sweden
[2013.07.09 – After the Long Distance's Prize Giving Ceremony of the World Orienteering Championships, Vuokatti, Finland]