Who is Who
Stefano Galletti, M40, ITA
(Picture: Stefano as a speaker, interviewing Anne Konring Olesen)
Among Italian orienteers Stefano Galletti, Stegal67, is so well known as Mamleev, Rigoni or Tavernaro. You have been for seven years the official reporter of FISO site. How does it begin?
Well... I don't know if Misha, Michele and Carlo completely agree with you. Anyway... Everything started in 2001 with small articles for my local committee. For some months, I just wrote something in pure style "what who when where", without any passion or pathos, only as a simple report. In June 2002 the national ultra-long distance championship, a one-man-relay, was held in my region. I was in the forest as a competitor in open class and I witnessed some spectacular fact happened on the course, thrilling races and arrivals shoulder to shoulder. At home, overnight, I tried to describe it all in a more interesting way; in a few days, I received comments and compliments from runners: their appreciation made me understood there was a better style to write about our sport. That night the signature Stegal67 is born, the same Stegal67 you see today signing around 80 reports by year.
"Narratore, raccontatore, scrittore, non-giornalista", you said about yourself. May I translate "more a novelist than a journalist"? You really have a singular style...
The first thing I ever said is "Don't consider me as a journalist, because really I'm not!" So I don't care about style, lenght, arguments to report and so on. When I write, I sit at my desk, fingers on the keyboard, I close my eyes... and something happens! When I open the eyes, the report is on the screen: a mix of changes of speed, jumps from an argument to another one, different styles. As in the forest, when we use a mix of technique and physical ability: I want my report to have the same structure of an orienteering competition. My blog is the same: it's born two years ago as an answer for friends that were asking me a book on my experiences almost every day.
Since May 2006, we can read about your "esperienze orientistiche" on http://stegal67.blogspot.com . How difficult or stimulating is to maintain a diary like this? How rewarding have been the feedback?
Not difficult, much more stimulating. It's a diary, no maps or photos but just words usually on a weekly basis, of my orienteering experiences. It could be an analysis of my race, or an organisation I was involved, or just the story of the day when I suggested to a girl doing a novel as school homework to tell about how I started orienteering! I receive often feedbacks from friends: it's almost like being again just after the race when everybody tells about their races. I remember well some beautiful comments and also personal e-mails when I had my 40st birthdate: I reported a brief story of my entire life in sports; friends, people I never meet and also Elite runners, they all felt involved in my life. Giacomo Seidenari, from national Elite team, told me "We use to say that a photo tells more than a thousand of words. In your blog, a thousand of words tells much more than a photo!"
Which period, since May'06 until Jan'08, has been the most enthusiastic, exciting, at your blog?
In autumn 2006 I tried to do something strange: run the same day in two different races and two different countries (Italy and Switzerland) with first start at the same time (is this a record?). This needed fast movements from a place to another one, no queue at the border... I didn't tell my proposal to anyone, I just asked an early start and a late start. Everything went ok, with a 2nd and a 7th place in the ranking (but I was a little tired after the second race). The day after, I posted my experience, receiving lots of enthusiastic comments and "If you told me, I would have done the same!"
Sometimes your posts are quoted in different blogs and also you write or do comments in other pages. Blogosphere is a rich world of interconnections...
I consider the "blogosphere" a positive addition in orienteering, because the way we use it is positive. It's not only a place where all of us could report our sensations, maps, general facts about orienteering, but also a way to increase knowledge on us and our sport. Moreover, nevertheless the previous answer, I obviously cannot be present at every race in Italy so I use, with permission of owners, information from blogs to complete my reports: O-bloggers know this, and I'm almost sure they write sometimes comments on their blogs hoping I could appreciate this kind of help and use it on the official web site.
On your blog we find links for more than a dozen of pages, beginning with Alessio Tenani (very interesting). Please, try to elect, among those you know, Top 5 orienteering blogs in the world.
Those dozen of links are just a starting point. Everyone of them links to other dozens of blogs and so on. Most of them are not pure O-blogs: there are comments and news on more general facts and private life. I appreciate it, but I prefer to recommend some pure O-blog in italian. Starting, obviously, with http://www.alessiotenani.it/ and also http://www.emilianocorona.it/ : two members of national team. If you aren't member of a national team, I strongly recommend http://mary-marco.blogspot.com/ (my teammate in relay 2007), with weekly reports live from the competition center, and http://zonori.blogspot.com/ . Both of them were national champions in master class. The fifth and last one is a classical in english: http://okansas.blogspot.com/ I hope to meet this blogger sooner or later. Why not in Portugal?
Last year you have lived an experience of "improvisato speaker", but some orienteers said that you have been "the voice" reporting the race "in modo entusiasmante"...
After some years in writing, in 2005 Walter Peraro (historical Italian speaker) asked me to try with a cooperation during Italian Cup. He was so kind, because he left me the scene for the most part of the day, something I will never forget. As a speaker, my style is the sum of two factors: 1) I'm very shy (it doesn't seem, isn't it?) but when I speak about orienteering I forget it;2) the only thing I ask to the organisation is this: I want to compete and to be in the final ranking as a normal runner. It doesn't matter if I'm in the forest at sunrise! This is the deal between me and all the runners: I can speak about their race because I lived it just some hours before them. In summer 2007, I lived 8 wonderful days, competing and fighting bravely at sunrise in Highlands Open (terrain of WMOC 2004) and 5 days of fortresses, being the solo-speaker for hours and making prize-giving ceremonies at sunshine. This was one of the most beautiful experiences in my life (thanks to Andrea Rinaldi for this chance). If Italian runners wants me as a speaker one more time, I'm sure I will continue: for instance, rendez-vous at the national title 2008 on sprint distance: I will be the official voice.
Maybe I never have listened to you as a speaker, but I remember another Italian man doing it very well: Francesco Isella, whom I've met in Asiago WMOC 2004 and also in Portuguese races. Do you know him?
I know Francesco very well. We live in the same town and we collaborate in the press office of our national federation. We cooperate sometimes as co-speakers: at 5 days of Valle di Non 2005, with Alberto Grilli, he was the main speaker and me, after my race at sunrise, I was the voice from the forest; he called me every day in a different way: frog-man, lizard-man, spider-man... and I used to break him with a "Newsflash!" cry from the wood. He was one of the strongest junior during 90's, maybe our different style depends on different experiences. I think we will cooperate in some other italian multi-days.
In your blog profile you put "Activity: banking; Profession: I'm Wolf - I solve problems." What do you really want to say?
It's my background. I have now some responsibility in the largest Italian bank, with a team of 30 persons; I have complete trust in them. I have a bachelor in astrophysics and I spend 20 years in composing and solving chess problems (I'm now co-leader in this national ranking), so when they need some non-logical, non-linear, apparently undiscovered solutions... I'm able to do my best in those situations: because "I'm Wolf, I solve problems!" [See "Pulp Fiction" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANPsHKpti48].
Athlete "di basso rango" (second class?), you said about yourself. What does it mean? What do you most enjoy in orienteering?
Second class is correct. You find me in the lower or middle positions of ranking... well! It's depend on the overall level of the competition! But it doesn't matter. Everything I desire is to have fun and explore all my possibilities at my best: when a course setter forces me to use all the technical and athletic abilities, I'm satisfied and I don't care the final result. Anyway, I prefer forest with high visibility, almost flat, but with a lot of details so the average speed is not so high, and many short legs with lots of changes of directions. Every leg is another problem to solve.
You were born in summer (August 1st 1967). Have you ever celebrate your birthday in a big orienteering event?
Yes! In 1997 in Switzerland, in 1999 and 2005 in Scotland. Every time my teammates were able to put in their suitcase a gift for me, and to share a piece of cake too!
You have been to last O-ringen. You have you 10 lines for the biggest orienteering event.
I hope don't be blasphemous... I consider O-ringen the cathedral of orienteering. The experience in Mjolby was fantastic, for races and world cup where I was press agent. It doesn't matter the weather! At my first O-ringen in Goteborg, every race was distant from the competition center; I appreciate to stay in Mjolby in only two arenas near the CC with thousands of other orienteers. The only thing I regret: I was not able to meet two friends, Ingrid and Olle Hermansson from YK Ymer team; I promised them a gift from Italy, but there were too many people...
I remember the sensation over the little bridge on the run-in in the final stage: everything was wonderful and unforgettable.
Where else have you been competing outside of Italy? What event was the best?
Since 1997, I compete in Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia. Scotland, France, Germany, Hungary, Spain and Czech Republic. And obviously Sweden. I was ever satisfied about the overall level of the competition. O-ringen is ever at the very top level, but if I could choose a place... I would run again and again in Denmark! "5 days of Denmark" during European Championship 2004 and "Sealand 3-Days" 2001 were almost perfect, all the people was so kind with us and the terrain is the kind I prefer: I think if you live in Tisvildeleje, you cannot be a poor orienteer. Definitively I vote Denmark. Special mentions for France and the "5 jours de l'Aquitanie" 2003 and Portugal for "5 dias da Ria" 2003, organised by Ori-Estarreja. In Italy I remember the 1st edition of 5 days of Val di Non in '98, because it was the 1st time for me in a national multi-days; more than this, my parents live right on the map of 3rd stage, so it was also like a homecoming. The same with the 2nd edition, when I was also co-speaker (so I hope for a 3rd edition, but the situation of the local committee is not so easy to guarantee another edition in the next few years). 5 days of Fortresses with a complete effort in competing and doing speaker was the closest and also the best memory. I prefer terrains in Trentino and South Tyrol, and also the area of WMOC 2004 in Veneto is beautiful (but I didn't compete in Asiago, because my job didn't let me).
Besides races in forest, you have in Italy a very special Sprint/Park event: Meeting Orientamento Venezia, whose 28th edition had been held in last November, with over 3000 competitors. Give us a good reason to go Italy for a special race in 2008 or 2009.
The point: Venice! Is there a more exciting, atypical and famous town all over the world? The only thing I could prefer is an O-race in Venice by night. And this is exactly what I want to do next Saturday (26th of January): is there a better way to start an orienteering season? The next two years will offer other reasons to visit Italy doing some good orienteering; I'm planning for Mediterranean Open Championship and 5 days of Italy, both in Puglia. On August 2008 you cannot miss the Latin Nations Cup on the WMOC 2004 terrain. What about 2009? JWOC in the beautiful landscape of Dolomiti! Is it enough?
Among your dreams for 2008 you've mentioned world champion in Long Distance and in Relay (with Tavernaro and Rigoni). Of course it is a dream, but were you talking about you, about Italian team, or only joking?
It's just a dream but I want to explain (before you consider me crazy): during my career in basketball I usually had dreams on play, and they were for the most part like a nightmare. Despite good results of my team as a junior, I don't want to remember those years: I left basketball for injuries and pressure, and also because I wasn't enjoying it anymore. Orienteering is different; I ever dream different things: organisations, starts, finish, entire races... and a winning WOC long distance in Finland! I could close the eyes and see Jani Lakanen and Felix Breitschaedel (I don't know exactly why Jani and Felix... but they were) running with me. What a wake up! The same some months ago: I dream the third leg of the relay: Tavernaro sent me in the forest with Wingstedt and Khramov! I was not able to stay with them, but for some reasons we find together every control point. At the second last control point they missed a stone near the top of a hill; I found it, gaining the victory. I suggest all the orienteers to follow their dreams: there is ever a chance to realize them!
Orienteering in Italy: Ten lines for a quick portrait.
In Italy there are about 2000 orienteers, I think there are some juniors of very high level. Nevertheless Mamleev and Tavernaro are ever at the top, 2007 seemed the year of the generational earthquake, with a champion long distance 20 years old (Giancarlo Simion) and some impressive Elite victories from Jonas Rass and Nicole Scalet. I hope the best for them, and I want to support them as a non-journalist. But 2007 was also the year of the gold medal of Roberta Falda at the Trail-O World Championship, a victory which was far from Italy since the years of the great Nicolò Corradini in Ski-O.
Stefano, when did you discover orienteering and which were your best results? Did you have a junior and an Elite career?
I discovered orienteering in 1992, in a strange way: some friends brought me to a competition, but nobody explained me what I had to do! My true "Odissea" was printed in a novel http://www.fiso.it/trentino/azimutn/viewnews.asp?art=56&tipo=7&dTipo=Articoli%20Vari (sorry, it's in Italian). But I understood immediately that this was my sport. I never competed as a junior and I never was an Elite, but sometimes I gained a victory. Three races to remember. A victory in 4th stage of 5 days of Denmark, in Roskilde; a 99th place at 4th stage of O-ringen 2003 in Torslanda (99th, is not a mistake: in this case I ran over and over my limits on an incredible landscape). In 2007, I was the last of my team to start at eastern regional relay championship: Marco Giovannini gave me the first place with a lot of opponents following as close as a wolfpack. Soon they passed me, but I couldn't believe I was able to regain the lead after the long leg. I finished in 3rd place, but I ever remember the sensation of adrenaline upon my skin.
What do you expect from WMOC 2008 in Portugal?
Enjoy the race, enjoy the forest, meet a lot of orienteers from many countries; and to be forced to run at 100% of my possibilities. I hope the same for all the competitors, it doesn't matter if they win the title or they are at the bottom of the ranking. I'm sure the organisation of WMOC will offer all the best.But now I must leave and escape...I can see that Mamleev, Tavernaro and Rigoni are coming: maybe they want to tell me something about my "being famous as them"...
(Interview by Manuel Dias. Questions and answers by e-mail. Received on 2008 Jan. 21st.)
[2008-06-20] Carlos Monteiro, WMOC Event Director
[2008-06-20] Dieter Wolf, M55, SUI
[2008-06-19] Timo Teinila, WMOC speaker
[2008-06-19] Jorge Simões, WMOC Event Director assistant
[2008-06-18] Blair Trewin, M35, AUS
[2008-06-18] Mariett Matias, WMOC Media responsible
[2008-06-17] David May, WMOC Senior Event Advisor
[2008-06-16] Gottfried Tobler, M60, AUT
[2008-06-16] Tuulikki Salmenkylä, W45, FIN
[2008-06-16] Arvo Majoinen, M80, FIN
[2008-06-14] Fernando Costa, WMOC Marketing responsible
[2008-06-13] Sarah Dunn, W40, GBR
[2008-06-12] Santos Sousa, WMOC planner
[2008-06-11] Sigurd Daehli, M55, NOR
[2008-06-10] Alexandre Reis, WMOC mapper and planner
[2008-06-09] Nick Duca, M40, CAN
[2008-06-07] Tiago Aires, WMOC mapper and planner
[2008-06-06] Irina Stepanova, W55, RUS
[2008-06-05] Luís Sérgio, WMOC mapper
[2008-06-04] Ari Kattainen, M50, FIN
[2008-06-03] Rui Antunes, WMOC Mapping coordinator
[2008-06-02] Jon Musgrave, M45, GBR
[2008-05-31] Jacinto Eleutério, WMOC Course coordinator
[2008-05-30] Rune Carlsson, M70, SWE
[2008-05-29] Åke Jacobson, IOF President
[2008-05-29] Augusto Almeida, POF President
[2008-05-28] Jurate Uleviciene, W55, LIT
[2008-05-26] Vladimir Ioffe, M70, ISR
[2008-05-23] José Fernandes, M45, POR
[2008-05-21] Ezio Paris, M55, ITA
[2008-05-19] Gabriella Györffy, W40, HUN
[2008-05-16] Alberto Minguez, M40, ESP
[2008-05-14] Tomas Zdrahal, M55, CZE
[2008-05-12] Paulo Becker, M45, BRA
[2008-05-09] Ingrid Roll, W70, NOR
[2008-05-07] Jerzy Parzewski, M55, POL
[2008-05-05] Hugh Moore, M60, AUS
[2008-05-02] Martin Checkley, M55, GBR
[2008-04-30] Etienne Bousser, M60, FRA
[2008-04-28] Andreas Grote, M40, SUI
[2008-04-24] Liudmila Labutina, W65, RUS
[2008-04-22] Freddy Sillien, M60, BEL
[2008-04-17] Tomislav Kaniski, M35, CRO
[2008-04-14] Eero Tuuteri, M85, FIN
[2008-04-10] Lena Nordahl, W80, SWE
[2008-04-07] Albano João, M45, POR
[2008-04-03] Tom A. Karlsen, M55, NOR
[2008-03-31] Kayoko Sakai, W55, JPN
[2008-03-27] Finn Arildsen, M45, DEN
[2008-03-24] Anne Nurmi, W45, FIN
[2008-03-20] Peo Bengtsson, M75, SWE
[2008-03-17] Alida Abola, W50, LAT
[2008-03-13] Matti Railimo, M60, FIN
[2008-03-10] Cornelia Eckardt, W35, GER
[2008-03-06] Joaquim Sousa, M35, POR
[2008-03-03] Birgitta Olsson, W75, SWE
[2008-02-20] J. Salmenkylä, M75, FIN
[2008-02-18] Torid Kvaal, W65, NOR
[2008-02-15] Mykola Bozhko, M55, UKR
[2008-02-13] Pavlina Brautigam, W45, USA
[2008-02-11] Ferran Santoyo, M35, ESP
[2008-02-08] Sole Nieminen, W80, FIN
[2008-02-06] Stefano Galletti, M40, ITA
[2008-02-04] Gillian Ingham, W50, NZL
[2008-02-01] Jörgen Mårtensson, M45, SWE
[2008-01-30] Tom Hiltebrand, M50, SUI
[2008-01-28] Baiba Ozola, W40, LAT
[2008-01-25] Eddie Harwood, M55, GBR
[2008-01-23] Marje Viirmann, W45, EST
[2008-01-21] Alexander Afonyushkin, M40, RUS
[2008-01-18] Paulina Majova, W55, SVK
[2008-01-16] Björn Linnersjö, M65, SWE
[2008-01-15] Lillian Røss, W85, NOR
[2008-01-10] Tapio Peippo, M55, FIN
[2008-01-07] Elizabeth Brown, W90, GBR
[2008-01-04] Erkki Luntamo, M90, FIN