Elaine Lenz, Douglas da Silva Schmitz and Everton Daniel Markus are part of the sixteen elements group that, crossing the Atlantic, were present in the Portuguese international competitions last February. Bringing the Brazilian's perfume, they spoke to the Portuguese Orienteering Blog about courage and determination, motivation and dream.
Why Portugal in the early season?
Elaine Lenz (E. L.) - Because it’s also the start of the season in Brazil and because we have the unique opportunity to compete in three major international events, in addition to the Training Camps. Although there is no obligation to participate in all competitions or stay in Portugal for so long, there is no doubt that this is a way to capitalize a long and expensive trip. We decided this way and I believe we couldn’t have done better.
Before the Portuguese journey, I’m sure that you set some goals, bearing in mind the competitive challenges. What were those goals?
Douglas da Silva Schmitz (D. S. S.) - The main reason of our coming to Portugal was to learn. We know that our level of knowledge is reduced and, therefore, every competition, every course we did, was an opportunity to learn. Each experience has been very productive and it's clear for all of us, now, how big is an organizing work on these events. Above all, we realize that our performances demonstrate that we have the potential to achieve world-class results.
Everton Daniel Markus (E. D. M.) - I have to disagree with Douglas when he says that our level is reduced. Our level is high, simply we don’t have this kind of terrains. In Brazil there isn’t such terrains, with so many stones, and we aren’t used to this level of technical demanding. It's the same thing as racing a Formula 1 course or a Rally race. In Brazil we are able to run easily but here, among these rocks, we cannot run.
Can you compare the three events based on the terrains?
E. L. - Well, the Lisbon International O' Meeting was very different, with much softer terrains, more dunes, as in Training Camps. On the contrary, the Portugal O' Meeting and the Norte Alentejano O' Meeting were competitions on hilly and really detailed terrains. For most of our youngsters, this was the first time they competed in Europe and it was a huge learning to them. Now the goal is to get them to the Junior World Orienteering Championships and bring them back to Portugal next year. We believe that this is the way to improve in terms of Orienteering, making Brazil also known in Europe.
In what way are these competitions important? What benefits you take from each experience?
D. S. S. - As mentioned earlier, each competition is a new experience. I was here for the Portugal O' Meeting 2015 and then we came across dunes, a kind of terrain closer to what we find in Brazil. This year, however, we faced very different terrains and we ended up learning much more. We faced a high technical level in very detailed terrains that we just thought we would never find a flag in the middle of so many rocks. It was fantastic.
E. D. M. - Yes, fantastic and challenging. To find a control in a rock reentrant was something extremely difficult and to which we are unused. I had examined lots of old maps in terrains like these and wondered how they would be in reality. I ended up finding out exactly what I wanted.
E. L. - Whatever the demanding of maps and terrains, every race we do is important because it always brings something new. These experiences are then implemented in the following competitions, either by the acquired motivation and confidence, either by improving the technical quality and competitiveness.
How is it going to be from now on?
D. S. S. - The goal is to train and train. We believe that our performances here were huge, despite the essential aspects that set us apart from most athletes. They came to Portugal to put into practice what they’ve trained, while we're here to train. We met our first maps with stones here, while they are fed up with navigating in this kind of maps and terrains. Respecting the differences, I think we should be proud of what we did. It was a great jump towards the top.
The Brazilian Elite is a bit old but you, Everton, with yours 22 years, are almost a rarity. When are we going to see you reaching the Brazilian title?
E. D. M. – Certainly, in the coming years, me and the younger generation who are just starting in the Elite, we will achieve that goal. This participation in competitions in Portugal is an extra motivation. Already in the near future we will have the selection races for the Military World Championships and being selected is my goal.
And what about you, Elaine? You’ve been really close to the title last season...
E. L. - Well, the goal this year is to reach the Brazilian Orienteering title, after the 2nd place in 2015. We need to design some goals, looking forward to them and the Brazilian title is my ultimate goal, along with qualifying for the Military World Championships that, in 2016, have an extra attractive being held in Brazil.
Is Portugal in your plans next year?
E. L. - Next year and in the following years.
D. S. S. – For sure. Portugal will always be in our plans. It's a fantastic country, the Portuguese are our fathers and always welcome us wonderfully.
E. D. M. - The harder the better! We will return, for sure.