Who is Who
Mykola Bozhko, M55, UKR
Picture: Mykola Bozhko and his wife Tetyana who won golden medal in USA 1997
What is your date of birth and where do you live?
I was born on October 20th 1949 and now live in Cherkasy, Ukraine.
You got very good results in two last WMOC: 2nd in Austria 2006 and 4th in Finland 2007. You also won one stage in Fin5 2007. What do you think that you are able to do in Portugal?
Currently I have persistent and hard trainings. And in Portugal I intend to take a place in the first twenty in Sprint race and a place in the first ten in Long race.
Please, tell us other highlights of your sporting career.
I am and was the frequent champion of Ukraine and former USSR in regular competitions and also among veterans (masters).
Which was your best year?
It was 1980. That year I won 2nd place in the championship of USSR.
Have you ever competed in Portugal?
No, I've never been in Portugal.
Where have you been doing orienteering outside your country? Do you have any special memories from an orienteering travel?
I took part in competitions in many countries: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, and Poland. No special memories, but I can say that I'm delighted with the terrains in Finland and Czech Republic.
In Ukraine, how many athletes do you usually have in a normal national race? Do you have any special multi-day event?
Here in Ukraine we usually have approximately 700 competitors during regular national championship, and about 300 during veteran's (master's) races. Unfortunately we don't hold special multi-day events as in Sweden or Finland, but we have different championships in sprint races, long races, marathons and all-round competitions.
Vyacheslav Mukhidinov, Yurii Omelchenko, Pavlo Ushvarok, Mariya Spasyuk have got good results in last WOC, just in Kiev. Do you know any of them? Do you have any interesting story to tell us?
Of course I know them all, but frankly speaking they are orienteers of another (I mean "young") generation. That's why I can't tell something particularly interesting about them.
Do you have any responsible position in your club or in your federation?
Recently we had elections of the new UOF (Ukrainian Orienteering Federation) presidium. My wife, Tetyana, was chosen to be our new UOF President. And also I'm working in the Committee on Ethics in UOF.
Have you ever organized an orienteering event?
Yes, I have such experience, but the competitions which I organized were mostly for children.
When did you discover orienteering?
I discovered orienteering in 1976. Before it I practiced greco-roman wrestling. During 32 years as an orienteer I took part in 1100 competitions more than 500 of which I won. On the trainings for all this time I covered 125,000 km running.
What do you enjoy most in orienteering?
Most of all I like the necessity to think and decide fast in different extreme situations, and of course I like orienteering for the possibility constantly to spend a lot of time in the open air.
Which have been the best events in which you have participated?
As an elite sportsman: 2nd place in the USSR championship in 1980. As a master (veteran): WMOC 2006 and 2007, FIN5 2007, O-ringen 2005 (I was 2nd in one of the stages).
Do you remember your best race?
It was during multi-day event in 1980. I ran the course of 10.2 km long for 38:50. I've never showed the higher speed after it.
That time is really exceptional. It means about 3.48min/km. Speeds less than 4 min/km are not common even in sprint races. Can you tell us a little more about the terrain of that competition and about your good shape at that moment? And, if you remember, how was the performance of other good competitors in that event?
It is from 1980 I started to take part in competitions as elite sportsman. I won that Ukrainian multi-day competition, and among other competitors only one ran less than 40 minutes. The terrain was plain with pine-forest and micro-relief. As for my shape that time I had a very good one: I used to run marathons for less than 3 hours.
What is the secret to be a winner?
You simply need to want it very much.
Who are your heroes in this sport?
I have no heroes in orienteering.
What kind of terrain do you prefer to do orienteering? Technical? Physical?
I prefer more physical terrain because here in Ukraine we have mostly such terrains.
What kind of training do you use to do?
I have my trainings 6 times a week. I cover about 60 km a week running. One of the trainings is obligatory to be held in the forest. Also another one has to about 20 km long. In summer I spend a lot of time for high-speed trainings.
Do you have any special program of training in order to improve your performance at the moment of WMOC?
Yes, I have special training programs for speed endurance improvement.
Do you have any special care with what you eat?
I don't care much about my food, but two times a day I check my weight. I practically never drink alcohol; prefer to eat fruits and vegetables.
Do you have orienteers in your family?
In my family everyone is involved in orienteering: my wife, Tetyana, was W40 group world champion (VWC) in 1997 in USA; daughter, Yuliya, is a champion of Ukraine in her age group; also son, Yevgeniy, is a middle level orienteer.
What is your job? How can you coordinate professional and sporting life?
I'm an engineer. During the workdays I have trainings in the morning, before going to job. Usually get up at 5:15 and run.
What are your hobbies besides orienteering?
Orienteering is my only hobby.
What are your favourite websites or blogs?
Can't name any special, but I'm interested in biathlon, football, and track and field athletics.
What do you expect from WMOC 2008?
I hope that terrain will be interesting and weather not very hot.
Can you give any message to the other competitors?
I can say only: just keep running and everything will be Ok!
FOUR QUESTIONS TO TETYANA BOZHKO
You are the new Ukranian Orienteering Federation president. For how long is your mandate and which are your main goals for it?
Mandate is 2 years long. In short my main goal is to develop orienteering at schools and clubs by the example of Scandinavian countries. And to rise the level of Ukrainian orienteering in the world.
Ukraine became an independent country in 1991. What changed in Ukrainian orienteering with national independence?
During this 16 years Ukrainian orienteers came to the world standard of orienteering. We've got an opportunity to take part in international competitions. I can even say that world orienteering opened Ukraine for itself.
You won the gold medal in Masters 1997 in USA and got the 8th place in Finland 2007. Can you indicate other highlights of your career?
Actually I've always been no less than in first twenty competitors (including during the world competitions since 1996). I used to run for Military forces of Ukraine in World and Europe championships. In 1997 in Slovenia our team won the first place in European Championship for Military.
Choose one event and tell us why it was so special for you.
I can tell about USA 1997. That victory was rather difficult because terrain was technical and the forest was very thick forest. I was very surprised that Ukraine is known in America. I've got rather warm welcome. The most vivid recollection form that competitions was that they had a lot of reporters and journalists there. It was even difficult to run from the last control to finish, you simply needed to thread your way through the crowd of journalists with heavy video cameras.
(Interview by Manuel Dias. Questions and answers by e-mail. Received on 2007 Dec. 3rd. Second question about the race in 1980 and the 4 questions to Tetyana received on 2007 Dec 11th.)
[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