Alexandersson won the Orienteering Achievement of 2016 award for finally showing that she is the best orienteer in the world on the day when it really counts: Winning both individual forest gold medals at both WOC and EOC after never winning a gold medal at the big championships before. Alexandersson won the award ahead of Emily Kemp (Canada) and Anastasia Denisova (Belarus) – the very best orienteer in the world ahead of two new stars who both wrote history for their nations at this years’ World Orienteering Championships with best-ever results.
Q: Congratulations on being awarded “The Orienteering Achievement of 2016″. What an incredible season for you to be on the very top of the podium in the most important races of the season! What were your expectations and goals ahead of the season?
Thank you! What I wanted most was to be able to run all important races and feel prepared and ready at the start line. The second thing I wanted was to win, I wanted to win in both EOC and WOC and the World Cup in both orienteering and ski-orienteering. At least it was my dream to do that.
Q: You skipped the sprint discipline completely(?) this season - and it could look like that is part of the reason for your success. What is your thought about that?
I wanted to be as good as possible in the forest races and felt that it was a risk to also run the sprint. It was safer to just focus on the forest but I hope I will be able to do top races in both sprint and forest disciplines.
Q: What are your main improvements compared to the 2015 season? Is it all about being free from injuries, or have you also taken some steps on the mental side?
I have taken some steps on the mental side but I think it’s the o-technique I have improved most during the season.
Q: Can you name three key persons who were important for your achievements in 2016?
The whole team around me is very important. The national teams and my clubs in both orienteering and ski-orienteering, Anneli Östberg who has coached me since I was junior and of course my family.
Q: The Swedish success is also a team effort. How do you work and train as a team? Can you give an example of how some of the others in the team have helped you get better?
The atmosphere in the team is fantastic and makes me always looking forward to the training camps and competitions. We always help each other to get better and to do good performances.
Q: Do you plan do to anything differently in your training for the upcoming season? Will you still focus on the same disciplines where you achieved such fantastic results at the World Champs?
This season I was very focused on the orienteering technique and running in relevant terrain for WOC. For next season I will focus a bit more on running on harder surfaces and hopefully improve my physical capacity in both the forest and sprint.
Q: Big achievements is one thing - but to get as far as you have, I guess it is important to have fun with what you are doing as well. What is the most fun you have had during orienteering the past year?
I have had so much fun during the year. Of course the championships have been great but if I have to choose something other, it will be my first orienteering competition of the year. For me it’s always a bit special with the first competition, especially if I come directly from the snow and winter. The competition was the first day of NAOM in Portugal. It was fantastic terrain, a really good middle distance course and I just had the o-technical flow I wish for. A perfect orienteering day and a good start of the season.
Q: What do your days look like now in the winter time? Have you still got full focus on ski-orienteering?
I focus on both ski-orienteering and orienteering during the winter, so the training at home is a mix between skiing and running. I really like the winter training because I can train much more compared to if I’m just running. I also have quite many training camps and not so much time to do other things than training.
Q: Any final words to your fans out there?
I want to thank everyone who have supported me and cheered on all races.
Q: Congratulations again – and good luck with your season preparations!
[Press Release: Orienteering Achievement of 2016 / WorldofO.com]