The Portugal O 'Meeting 2015 is over. As the Arena goes empty, the Orientovar meets Bruno Nazario, the Event Director, asking for the balance of the most participated POM ever.
I think I see, in any Director of an event of this magnitude, an inner conflict that is recurrent. On the one hand, the natural relieved breath after intense and exhausting days; on the other, a certain nostalgia for the lived moments and some sadness to see all these people leaving. Is it really so, Bruno?
Bruno Nazario (B. N.) - In fact, I think the main feeling at the moment is of accomplished duty, to understand that a large team spent a year working, giving a wonderful contribution to a Portugal O’ Meeting at this level. I'm sure that all the people who passed through here were tickled with the technical level, with the availability, with these arenas... There was a Finnish athlete who has come to the POM for many years and has made a point of congratulating us saying that we really took a step further, that now he feels the great events’ atmosphere. I think we really achieved that goal but, as I say, this is not work of mine, only, it is the work of a large team of which I am only part and to which I am grateful, because without them this Portugal O’ Meeting would not really be what it was. But there is also a feeling of some regret that, being absorbed with the most varied tasks, we are not able to enjoy properly the party, we cannot spend more time with all those who visited us.
Taking a bit on these last words, what did you miss that you regret the most?
B. N. - Well, by my position during these days, in the role of 'speaker', I ended up being in all the most important moments. Hence my words are directed more to other people, and in particular to António Aguiar, the responsible for all the logistics and that, during the course in Mira, he was already in Vagos, rising the Arena structure for the following days. A very special word to him, to all the people who were at the bar, the people who were in the kitchen, in the starts, in the parking, who didn’t have the chance or the privilege that I had to be able to be in Arena and follow the highest moments. I want to congratulate the whole team, who knew how to be supportive, fulfilling their work in the best way.
What was the most exciting moment of POM 2015?
B. N. - I think the most exciting is to see the joy and pleasure shining in the face of all the athletes, happy with this organization and all the work that Ori-Estarreja prepared to them over the last year.I thought that you would talk about the resounding victory of Minna Kauppi in the WRE stage ... (laughs) But how did you saw this POM from a viewpoint of the "pure and hard" competition?
B. N. - This was perhaps the year where, in the female sector, we saw the most homogeneous group ever in the history of Portugal O’ Meeting. We had really good athletes, Mari Fasting, Minna Kauppi - Minna Kauppi who has more than ten world titles, after Simone Niggli she is the big 'superstar' - Riina Kuuselo, Saila Kinni, Sofia Haajanen... With this valuable range of athletes, the victory of Minna Kauppi is really spectacular, showing that she's back. In the men obviously we are very sorry that Thierry Gueorgiou has not been with us, but his absence allowed to slightly open the range of candidates to the final victory, showing at the same time some stars for the future, such as Aaro Asikainen or Gernot Kerschbaumer. It was also a pity that Gustav Bergman got sick, as the same with Annika Billstam, Philippe Adamski, Amélie Chataing and others, yet the competitive level was very high.
The Portugal O 'Meeting moves next year to the Beira Interior, to Penamacor, by the hands of the Clube de Orientação do centro, taking an even heavier responsibility after what we have seen in Mira and Vagos.
B. N. - When organizing an event of this nature, the Ori-Estarreja demands that the following organizations could have a good handover. Our wish is that athletes who leave from here are already with their eyes on Penamacor, recognizing in the POM a high level event and wanting to return next year. I am sure that COC will do a fantastic job. The terrains chosen for POM 2016 are very good and we have gathered all the ingredients to continue with these high numbers of participants.
You're about to lose the one that was your entertainment along a long year. How will you be in 2015, personally?
B. N. – Personally, 2015 will be more devoted to my family, with a special word to Cristina, who was able to support me all this time.