The latest issue of Inside Orienteering, the newsletter of the International Orienteering Federation, is already published. Marked by Anna Jacobson's farewell from the charge of Assistant Secretary General of that organization and Editor-in-Chief of the O-Zine, this is a number with a very special meaning.
Unannounced, the invitation came by surprise. Anna Jacobson wrote me asking my collaboration in the edition of the World Orienteering 2012. She needed an “expert” in MTB Orienteering and... I was the “expert” (?) From the surprise to the doubt was the time of a second. Would I be able to correspond to what she expected from me? Over there, the conditions were simple: it is volunteer work. I just asked to not see “censored” my articles and to let me write about what is happening in the Latin countries. Anna accepted. Me too. When I see, in the latter number, an article about the life and work of the Catalan Carles Llado and a historical review of the Latin Countries Cup, I am sure I did well in accepting the challenge. This always open window, from Italy to Mozambique, from Cuba to Portugal, was my greatest reward in the nearly three years of collaboration.
But this collaboration was not reduced to Orienteering World. In December 2012 I signed, with an Interview to the Swiss Matthias Kyburz, my first article in Inside Orienteering and a photo of mine had Cover honours. The collaboration get more and more closer and in the following two years and half 24 articles were signed by me on 13 numbers. Adding to this 13 interviews for the “Athlete of the Month” and we can have an idea about the scale of this work. Volunteer, I repeat! And always, but always, with the huge support of Anna and the understanding and patience of Clive Allen, “washing” my English.
That is why, alongside of a sense of pride and commitment, I cannot help but feel some sadness today, in the precise day of Anna's departure from the office at Radiokatu. A major overhaul in the structure of the IOF and the changing of the office from Finland to Sweden eventually spell the end of a beautiful story, based on trust and friendship. I know Anna, wherever you go, whatever you do, that you'll always be successful. You're a fighter and your ability to work are the guarantee of a promising future. As for me, I don't know. Officially I've not received any invitation to keep the collaboration with the IOF, in current or new terms. But, about one thing, I'm sure: I'll miss you, Anna!