Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Magdalena Olsson: "I'm looking forward to come to Siberia"

After six years in Umeå, combining the forestry studies with her sport career, Magdalena Olsson moved to Lviv, in Ukraine, where she'll live for the next two months, preparing the Master Thesis in forestry. The Portuguese Orienteering Blog met her in the middle of both good training and interesting studying – but also cooking and singing -, and here you are the result of a really nice talk.

The Ski Orienteering season is over and I believe the greatest memory you keep from it is the relay gold medal in Obertilliach, in the ESOC's last day. Am I right? Do you still feel the emotion of that moment?

Magdalena Olsson (M. O.)
– Yes, you’re right. That's my strongest memory from this season. I'm really glad about the gold medal, but most of all I made my best race of the whole season that day. As I started a while behind the lead I knew I had to make my best and to push until the finish. I caught some teams and this gave me some extra energy to fight. When I passed the spectator control I heard that I had caught time on the leaders and got even more energy on the last loop. It was a great race for me and, after finishing, it was really exciting to watch Tove making a great performance on the last leg!

How do you rate your season? Is your 5th place in the World Cup overall something that you've been expected?

M. O.
- I would say that this season has been my best one so far in my Ski orienteering career. Even if I won't be able to take an individual medal this year, I am very glad that I could make stable races all winter. This has been a problem for me earlier, where I could make both good and bad performances. This year I have been top 6 on many World Cup races, which I'm really glad about and my 5th place in the World Cup overall shows that I have made many good races. Becoming so stable gives me hope that I will be able to reach the podium in the upcoming season.

Looking on the most important moments, can you point the Ski Orienteering achievement of the season?

M. O.
- I have been impressed by many strong athletes this winter, both experienced ones, like Lars Moholdt and Maria Kechkina on the European Championship, but also many younger ones like Evelina Wickbom and Markus Lundholm, in the Swedish team, that took big steps this winter.

Hod did you met Orienteering?

M. O.
- I have been doing Foot orienteering for as long as I can remember, since my whole family does this sport. At the age of 15 I tried the Ski orienteering for the first time and immediately fell in love by this sport. Skiing on technical narrow tracks in the forest was really hard in the beginning and therefore I made some really bad races along my first season, but still I had so much fun. I decided to start fighting to become better and now, 10 years later, I am really glad that I made that decision.

Is the option for Ski orienteering a kind of upgrade?

M. O.
- To be able to combine my two favorite sports, - Cross-country skiing and Orienteering – is, of course, perfect!

What attracts you the most in Ski Orienteering? And what is the worst part?

M. O.
- I like the speed on technical tracks combined with really fast decisions in the Orienteering. It's also necessary to be very versatile in your skiing technique, where you have to be strong both on wide tracks and narrow tracks. Balance is very important in ski orienteering when the tracks are windy or on shortcuts. I also think that Ski orienteering have made me a better cross country skier because of all this. The worst part of Ski orienteering is that it requires a lot of snow and if there is not so much snow you can easily destroy the skis.

We are facing now a long pause until Autumn and the first snows. What are the alternatives for a ski-orienteer during a whole period of lack of snow? Do you have any plans to keep the good shape?

M. O.
- It's not so hard to be active when there is no snow since I also love Foot orienteering. I’ve already started this season with four orienteering competitions and one running competition. Between the orienteering competitions I do a lot of versatile trainings, like roller skiing, biking, strength, yoga, swimming. I'm a very active person and I like to try many different activities. In summer and autumn I will go to some training camps to get more specific training for Ski orienteering.

We'll have this year the WOC in your home country. Do you feel some special emotion about that? Are you planning to follow the event?

M. O.
- I hope I will have time to go there and watch some of the races. It's always fun to watch the strongest orienteers when they run.

Who will be the brightest star of the World Championships?

M. O.
- I will cheer for my teammate Tove Alexandersson, of course, and I hope she can stay away from injuries and make her best there.

The WSOC will return in 2017. Are you already thinking in Krasnoyarsk?

M. O.
– Yes, I'm definitely thinking about this and it is a big goal for me to be there in my best shape ever. I think it will be very technical and challenging races in Krasnoyarsk and this summer I will do my best to prepare for that. I'm looking forward to come to Siberia!

Would you like to share with us your biggest wish?

M. O.
- That people all over the world will start to care more about the environment so we can continue with Ski orienteering and all other winter sports.

[Photo: Courtesy of Magdalena Olsson]

Joaquim Margarido

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