Our Christmas gift: 24 answers you always wanted to know

This Christmas we asked 24 different athletes running with VJ Sport one question each. Read below 24 answers you always wanted to know.

1. Sara Hagström, Swedish orienteer: Your favorite substituting training?

My favorite substitute training is long distance xc skiing with my sister on a sunny day!

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2. Olav Lundanes, norwegian orienteer: What is your biggest dream at the moment related to sports?

My biggest dream is to win both the middle, long and relay at the same WOC. I am getting closer, but there are still a lot of improvements that need to be done to achive it.

3. Anna Bachman, Swedish orienteer: How to get rid off being too nervous before competitions?

I try to think of what I can affect, like the technical performance and my worm up preparations. And not think about what I can’t affect on the competition day, like my physical shape or other conditions. If I do as good as I know I can do technically, it will be a very good race. That thought calms me down if I’m to nervous.

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4. Saila Kinni, Finnish orienteer: Key to successful relay team?

It is relaxed, encouraging and joyful team spirit, where you can be as you are and orienteer as good as you can. There is no need to pretend a superhero!

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5. Ida Bobach, Danish orienteer: Favorite orienteering terrain in the world and arguments for that?

The terrrains from WOC 2011 in France (middle final and relay). I felt so entertained when I was running in these terrains. The terrains were full of small features and that made the orienteering really difficult and fun.

6. Severi Kymäläinen, Finnish orienteer: What are the biggest differences between Suisse and Finnish orienteers?

The swiss are in general more laid-back, faster with the compass, and better in tolerating shitty terrains. However, they are yet to understand night-O and the misery a seemingly endless winter causes.

7. Florian Howald, Suisse orienteer: What are the biggest differences between Suisse and Finnish orienteers?

I think we Swiss orienteers in general are very structured, rational and well planned in training and orienteering. Sometimes I miss the trainings close to the limit, the spontaneous actions or the crazy stuff you can experience easily with Finnish orienteers, such as 3h-o-trainings, 4-session-days or camps where the last session is called ‘arkunnaula’ (last nail to the tomb). But I have had a lot of fun with both Swiss & Finnish orienteers and I think we are not too different after all: Also with my Swiss friends I can enjoy a good amount of Löyly in Sauna after a hard session.

8. Mikko Sirén, Finnish orienteer: How to react when you don’t achieve your goal?

Analyze your performance and take pros and cons from race. But remember to focus good things and do it like that next time!

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9. Miika Kirmula, Finnish orienteer: Favourite orienteering training and arguments for that?

O-intervals in a small group, after each interval chasing start to the next interval.
Great training for handling the pressure in different kind of situations. Another benefit in group trainings that you’ll be pushing harder yourself.

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10. Jonathan Albon, British/Norwegian all-round athlete: What is the most important skill needed on skyracing?

To be able to run on technical train. Without this skill it would be impossible to finish a skyraces within the time cutoffs, in addition to this the routes are often along exposed mountain passes where a slip or a trip can prove fatal.

11. Minna Kauppi, Finnish orienteer: Is there something you learned during your elit orienteering career that has helped you extra much now after your career in “normal” life?

I’ve always been active with my studies, own managering and other possibilities, which have helped me to create good skills and great contact network during my sports career.

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12. Lucas Basset, French orienteer: Where to go for active holiday in France?

The best place is of course Font-Romeu in the Pyreenees, both for a training camp or for sports holidays. You’ll find everything there: snow in winter, great weather in the summer, awesome orienteering maps, beautiful hikes in the mountains, lakes to swin in or hot springs to bath in. Everything is over 2000m over the sea level, and if you’re lucky you can have a run with Mo Farah or Martin Fourcade who spend a good part of the year there!

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13. Karin Karlsson, Swedish OCR-athlete: How to start OCR training?

Well, the sport OCR is basically moving your body forward, concurring obstacles on the way. If you’re about to run your first OCR, track down your strengths and weaknesses. Find a place where you can practice techniques on obstacles so you have tried it before the actual race, some techniques are really easy, you just need to practice it before the race.

14. Thierry Gueorgiou, French orienteer: One tip to improve orienteering technique?

Be honest with yourself and never go to bed without knowing what’s the true reason behind a mistake. Come back the next day and start fresh again!

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15. Fredric Portin, Finnish orienteer: A lot of orienteers move to Halden – is it worth it?

It’s definately worth it, the number of orienteerers moving there every year is a evidence of that. Halden SK really want to focus on the training environment and those, who really highlight the training atmosphere there instead of going to training camps whole winter really enjoy Halden. The many events for the whole club, the high class orienteering trainings and the smile on everybody’s faces is what I will miss most from our time in Halden. I also understand why that many orienteering families settle down in the small city; it’s great to live in the Mecca for orienteerers, no matter on which level you are competing.

16. Elias Kuukka, Finnish orienteer: How to react when your little brother beats you?

Well… then he must have done really well;)

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17. Anton Kuukka, Finnish orienteer: How does drawing maps improve your orienteering technique?

Mapping improves my map-reading skills and 3D-visualization. It also challenge my ability to concentrate.

18. Anton Johansson, Swedish orienteer: How to stay away from being injured?

The most important thing is to listen to your body. I know my body pretty well after experienced a few injuries the last years. I know when I should take it easier and when it’s just full speed in my training.

19. Annika Billstam, Swedish orienteer: To what pay attention on eating as a vegetarian athlete?

I’m always careful to refuel with protein which is often quoted as the nutrient that vegetarians won’t get enough of (e.g.egg. milk, cheese, eggs, beans, tofu) + food rich in iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin B12 and riboflavin. To be sure I meet my needs when I train hard I take supplements designed for vegetarians with these vitamins and minerals bought at the pharmacy.

20. Lotta Kirvesmies, Finnish orienteer: What can an orienteer learn from Australia?

I would say a lot, but for orienteering the courage to run fast enough is important as well as getting to know new terrains. In general Australians are way more laid-back than Finns and I wanna take home with me the “no worries”-attitude.

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21. Jerker Lysell, Swedish orienteer: How to become mästarn?

Buy a cap and spend your days in a swimming pool.

22. Hannu Airila, Finnish orienteer: How to combine work and trainings on elit athlete level?

The key is to find a good balance between the training and work. I make calendar reservations for the important trainings to be sure they will be at the first priority. The main problem is to find enough recovery time. I put focus on good sleep at nights and 2-4 times a week I take a small nap on the afternoon.

23. Maja Alm, Danish orienteer: Where to find motivation?

Motivation is very important when you want to have an elite carrer. For it is important to have high but realistic goals that I’m training hard to reach. I find it very motivating to complete a very hard training periode and really puch my limit of what I think I can do. What is really important for me to keep my motivation over time is to have an off season periode, where I’m trying to all the things and see all the people that I don’t always have time to during the season.

24. Santa Claus: Will you bring me VJ Sport shoes this Christmas?

Ho-ho-hoo, that is a secret you will find out sooner or later! If you for some reason don’t get them, I have heard that nowadays they are even sold on some stores and not only produced on my huge Christmas gift factory. Can you imagine that?

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