Click to watch:
Women's Sprint, Ali Crocker achieves her personal best.
Men's Sprint, the USA men were SO close to qualifying.
Middle, even the best make mistakes.
Long, USA's Samantha Saeger and Canada's Louise Oram qualified for this final.
Relay, the USA women had their best finish yet.
|Eric Bone (white and blue jersey, standing) takes an extra breath before the relay start.|
|Orienteering on tv isn't complete without GPS tracking!|
As it is, this is the first time I've watched full television coverage of an orienteering event while it was still relevant (or LIVE!) and not an old 5 minute highlight reel discovered after a lot of digging around on YouTube. These are my impressions:
1) Wow! Orienteering is truly a high profile sport in Europe, especially in Scandanavia. I already knew this in theory, but watching WOC described the reality well. Here in the USA, orienteering is not yet a household term. I have to explain what orienteering is to most people and even then they don't really understand what the sport is about. Watching WOC, I saw athletes adorned with sponsorship logos, fans painted in national colors and a slick multi-camera broadcast-- which all reflected the respect and enthusiasm that Europe has for orienteering.
2) Watching an orienteering event broadcast is very good training! While there were various "tv controls" where you could watch athletes dash through the forest, a good portion of the broadcast displayed the map and gps location of the competitors. This allowed viewers to truly engage and ponder what routes they might take themselves if they were on course. Of course, the gps map also added more excitement and speculation over who might win!
3) Even the elite make mistakes! Simone Niggli-Luder is perhaps the most famous orienteers today, with 20 gold medals to her name. Watch the Middle Final to witness Simone make the most simple but devastating mistake. I gasped when I saw it happen!
To add another dimension to your WOC viewing, check out the USA Team Blog!
Now go watch the WOC!
|Alison Crocker finishes the first leg of the relay in THIRD!!|