Thursday, January 16, 2014

Susy De Pieri:"To love Trail-o that it matters"

Susy De Pieri was one of the greatest performers of the last World Trail Orienteering Championships, in Vuokatti (Finland). Participating at the TempO competition only, the young Italian athlete embraced the opportunity with both hands, reaching a brilliant 13th place. She is our guest today and talks about her experience.

For how long do you practice trail-orienteering?

Susy de Pieri (S. P.) - I met orienteering at school. I started by doing Foot-o but, after a few years, I tried Trail-o and ended up to embrace this discipline. In the beginning, it wasn't really interesting, the guidelines did not exist or simply did not work and we didn't know how to do the things. But we are improving slowly and there is a clear evolution since those early days.

Can you remember your first experience in Trail-o?

S. P. - I think it was in Verona, in the town centre, but it was a very easy course. I must admit that I like difficult challenges - also in Foot-o - and Trail-o wasn't, exactly, love at first sight. But it was important to realize the essence of the technical challenge for staying connected with Trail-o and doing it increasingly.

Looking to the evolution of Trail orienteering in italy, what is your oppinion?

S. P. - I joined the italian Trail-o Commission in 2007. It was a time with a special meaning for us, a real party with the world title won by Roberta Falda, in the Paralympic Class. But a medal is only a medal and we couldn't see a particular increase of Trail-o in Italy, in spite of the gold medal. We are a small group but a strong group and we fight for the development of the disciple.

And to develop it, what is missing ?

S. P. - At this time we try to find paralympic athletes. We promoted some competitions directed to this particular class of athletes and I hope the results of this effort can begin to emerge. The truth is that you need to understand the sport, to see Trail-o as a game. When I compete, I do it for the game, for fun. But people can always find obstacles here and there, that they don't want to get tired and things like that, whether or not paralympic.

How do you see the present moment of Trail-o? Are we going in the right way?

S. P. - At the moment I think that Trail-o is going in the right direction. There are a lot of peculiarities in a competition that are not regulated on guidelines, and we're trying at the moment to discuss it on the “Bearing Towards the C-Flag”, on Facebook. Athletes from different countries explain different point of view on different tasks and I think this is the first step to create a big movement.

The WTOC 2013, the organization, your performance... how do you analyse Vuokatti?

S. P. - The organisation was OK, I think. My performances?... I was so nervous, I was always talking with someone, trying to relax myself a little. It was my first World Championships and, finally, I wasn't ready for this type of terrain, I did a lot of mistakes. Honestly, I wasn't expecting the 13th position in TempO, for me it was very good. After the competition, Guido Michelotti and Remo Madella said to me that they were talking and they would be happy if I could reach the final... Fortunately, I've been better than they expected...

What about the next World Championships, which will be held in Italy?

S. P. - I don't have many information about the next WTOC, so... I know that we can find some good terrains in the region, the course planners are athletes from the Italian National Team... And that's all.

In the meanwhile, Portugal will receive the European Championships. Isn't it a little bit “strange” to see a very young country in Trail-o organizing such important event? What do you expect from ETOC 2014?

S. P. - It's not important that the competitions are organized by a novice country. It can be more important the spirit which you put in the organization, your capacity to “put youself on play” and to learn together.

TempO or PreO?

S. P. - I like Temp-O but... my love is Pre-O!

Still one question about Marco Giovannini and his Internet TempO Game. How do you see this chance of sharing a challenging time, being together with many other orienteers from a lot of countries, all of this staying at home, in front of your PC?

S. P. - I see the ITT Game as a very amusing training. It's only a game, but a very interesting one. No one else thought to make a website as Marco Giovannini had a great idea (and he had a lot of work to do this). We haven't so much competition, so every kind of training is accepted with a great joy. Thanks a lot, Marco!

One last question : why don't we see in trail-orienteering such a high percentage of female competitors as we see in foot orienteering, for example?

S. P. - Honestly, I don't know. In my opinion, to be a woman or not is not important. The important thing is that there are people who love this sport. If you are man, woman, young, old, paralympic or not, it's irrelevant. To love Trail-o that it matters. To love it and giving example of this love, this is the way that Trail-o can grow and attract more people.

Joaquim Margarido

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