So... 36 years.
But then there were fewer countries, with the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia and no countries like Turkey, Brazil, and the Koreas (the newer countries are below us generally so that doesn’t affect placement of course). And several countries we used to be competitive with, or beat, have improved a lot —Spain is a good example.
No matter how you look at it, the US men did better today than in a long time (thank you Euro-Americans!). It is great to see.
The FB page also recently said that it was Eric Bone's 20th WOC, which it isn't. It's his 19th.
It's also the most WOC appearances by any man ever, as Eric and Thierry were tied at 18 going into this year. I would have thought that they would have mentioned it (or they did and I missed it).
Facebook pages aren't exactly known for being accurate!
I got curious, so I looked at the men's placing beginning in 1979: 14, 13, 14, 14, 15, 16, 20, 24, 25, 21, 25, 25, MP/DNF(?), 25, 22, 28, 29, 26, 24, 28, 7, 29, 27, 28, 28, 28, 24, 29, 20.
Five big changes over the 40 years:
Break up of the USSR added several new teams (1992)
Spread of orienteering across the world (adding, nations like Brazil, China, Turkey etc).
Shift to WOC every year (beginning in 2004)
Shift to relay with just 3 legs (2003)
TV/Spectator focus - shorter legs, more running marked routes.
Also, running in 20 WOCs is kind of amazing.
Yeah, we should do something publicly to celebrate Eric's 19th WOC. Maybe get a card signed by all of his WOC teammates ever? Not even sure if all are still living...
Biggest age gap of Eric's teammates?
Are you a WOC teammate of Eric Bone? I am! 1997 in Grimstad, Norway.
I am! 2003,2005,2006,2007,2012,2013
Congrats to the US team. The top 20 must also be one of the better (if not best) % behind winner performances in a while. It was fun to watch.
Incidentally the Canadian women best the US women by a very similar margin to what the American men beat the Canadian men by (BTW two Canadian men’s relay team members haven’t had their 21st birthdays yet).
Nev, my first guess would be Julia D (b 2000, WOC 2017 & 2018), and Sharon C (b 1944, WOC 1997).
Just keeping it to CascadeOC clubmates at WOC, it would be Tyra (b 1998, WOC 2017 & 2018), and Debbie N (b 1954, WOC 1995).
I gotta admit that when I think about Eric and WOC the image that first comes to mind is the blood streaming down his face after a collision with Mike Smith in the sprint in 2006 in Denmark.
But will those young guys on the Canadian team become as good as John Fredrickson became?!
Seems like yesterday that Eric Bone and James Scarbourough were big rivals as juniors.
That would be a great stat to see, % behind for both US and CAN through the years.
I had a spreadsheet with WOC relays. I tracked the US results as a percent of the winners'. I don't have it anymore. My recollection was that 1983 was the best for the US men.
1983: the US men's time was 4:41:42 (121.1 percent of the winning time)
2019: the US men's time was 2:01:42 (121.1 percent of the winning time)
Yeah, I was going to suggest normalizing the results somehow; percent behind the winners works well. Amazing the ‘83 and ‘19 teams were the same! Hmm, does that mean we’ve seen zero improvement?? Or, more charitably, we’re back to where we once were and perhaps should be.
I used to use two measures: percent behind the winner and placing within a group of "similar" nations (like Canada, Portugal, New Zealand, Ireland..I don't remember the whole list). I think that is a pretty good way of comparing results over time.
I don't think people are actually interested in doing that.
Objectively assessing the data is not a good way to reinforce prior beliefs.
I would be very interested in you reviving that, Spike.
All of Eric's WOC teammates' names and the years they competed can be found here: https://orienteeringusa.org/us-teams/senior/archiv...
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