Making my way home now after coaching at JWOC. Reflecting on the week that was ...
* Great performances by Christian Michelson. 32nd in Sprint, 46th in Long, 12th in Middle Qual, 32nd in Middle A Final. Four solid runs. Impressed by his consistency and speed. And, also impressed (in a strange way) that he wasn't completely happy with any of those runs, which indicates a hunger for more.
* Very good runs by Michael Svoboda in the Sprint (73rd) and Middle (18th in the Qual and 55th in the A Final).
* A good week for Rachel May in her final JWOC (102nd in Sprint, 93rd in Long, 29th in Middle Qual, 31st in Middle B).
* Though further down the results list, the rest of the team (Graeme, David, Sianna, Tara, Brittany, Keeya) all had good runs that they can be proud of. Furthermore, they all have one or more JWOC's yet to come, so here's hoping that this experience motivates them to keep training and rising to their own personal goals.
* In the Relay, the boys (Christian, Michael, Graeme) ran exceptionally well. They all had really solid races and the result (19th official/28th unofficial) is one that they should be quite proud of. The girls had some minor bobbles, but with youth on our side, we can look forward to improvements in the years to come.
* Coaching our Canadian team was a pleasure. They attacked the race preparation with focus and commitment. Whether out on the training maps the week before or analyzing possible route choice options on "mock courses" that we all set on copies of old race maps. During the events, they celebrated their achievements and took their disappointments in stride. They are also a very "nice" bunch (courteous, appreciative, fun, enthusiastic), which makes the coaching experience really enjoyable.
No doubt, JWOC is an event that has very high-performance orienteering. But, there is also a level of inclusiveness, fun and camaraderie that makes for a great experience. Not only for those at the front of the pack, but also those further down the field. Seeing our athletes mixing it up with athletes from around the world was one of the highlights for sure. Whether hanging with American friends during the week or playing cards with athletes from Australia, Egypt and Belorussia! The international "volleyball" games were also great to see. Sports (of all types) transcend national boundaries.
For those on Attackpoint and elsewhere who provided support and encouragement to our athletes abroad, thank you.
Some more general reflections (I'm stuck at an airport for the afternoon, so have time to contemplate) ...
* The Sprint (1st event) and Long (2nd event) were relatively "forgiving". The sprint had few traps or tough route choices. The Long certainly had route choice challenges but with an abundance of trails, only a few of the controls were particularly tough. This got our team (and presumably other teams too) off to a positive start, with almost all of our athletes finishing these races quite satisfied with their races. This was a good thing.
* The Middle added some technical challenge, which is certainly appropriate to the event. Naturally, there are those who rose to the challenge and others who had some difficulties. This is orienteering after all.
* The podiums (6 deep for each event) had quite the variety of countries. It was great to see so many different nations in the mix.
* Kasper Fosser was super impressive. 3 Gold in the forest events (after faltering with a MP in the sprint).
* Super fun to watch the relays. Close races in both the men's and women's categories. Particularly fun to watch the French mixing it up in the Men's race and the Brits coming out on top in the Women's.
* The race for Coaches and Team Officials after the relay was awesome. It's been a while since I ran first leg of a relay and this mass-start race went out hard and fast. Super, super fun (and hard).
* The organizers did a great job. They put a huge effort not only into making the courses challenging and fair, but also into making the event enjoyable for the athletes and team officials alike. Organizing an event of this calibre is a huge undertaking: courses, arena setup, spectator races, transportation, accommodation, food, etc. etc. We were very well looked after.
Thank you for coaching the team.
Thanks for the great write-up, Brian! And congratulations to Team Canada on an excellent JWOC!
Thanks Brian! I certainly had fun watching from afar and cheering everyone. Glad that it was such a positive experience for all.
Yes thanks Brian!
Having done it for the last few years I know how much work it is and it sounds like you did a great job.
Also, congrats to the entire team on their racing in Denmark!