Currently in Alicante where I'll be joining the Swedish National Team for a few sessions of their winter training camp.
It is shocking how much support their team gets. They have everything handled short of having someone to tie their shoes for them.
A bitter reminder of how important support like this is in developing athletes. Of course the US would not be able to provide the same level of support. There's just not enough money on the team.
At the same time, there is an opportunity for improvement if we can have high quality training camps with each session focused on practicing a specific aspect of orienteering. This would be all volunteer, of course. I'd gladly do it in the Philly area, but it'd be very beneficial to have mini-camps like these around the country.
Also, another note: I'm seriously looking at setting up this elite center in the Philly area.
200km2 of high quality maps within an hour twenty minute drive, which is pretty good for the US.
Even more high quality maps within a day's drive for training camps.
Cheaper than most Northeast cities.
Even in the worst of winter you can still train on maps.
Good job market and loads of universities.
Plus, I'll be there training.
I just need a few more (4-5, but at least 2) who want to see how far they can go in this sport.