Who is Who
Birgitta Olsson

Birgitta Olsson, W65, SWE

Gold medal in Lithuania 2001; 3rd in Norway 2003; 5th in Italy 2004; 4th in Austria 2006, Birgitta won gold medal again in last WMOC in Finland, sharing 1st place with Torid Kvaal. Who else is in a favourite position to win your class in Portugal?
There are some ladies from Norway, Finland and of course from Sweden who are very good orienteers.

What is your date of birth and where do you live?
I was born in 1941-10-04. I live now in the city of Ronneby in Blekinge, in the southeast part of Sweden.

How did you discover orienteering and for how long have you practiced it?
My brother wants I shall try, and I did it in 1961 and then I have practiced it all the time.

Do you remember your first races?
My first race was broken. I didn't find a little pool of water, but in my next race I got my first victory. The maps were 1:50.000 and only black and white. They were Swedish official maps without special details. There was very few of details.

Have you ever been to O-ringen? What did you feel running in the forest with 15 or 20 thousand people?
I have been to O-ringen 18 times from 1966 to the latest in 2002. It is rather fun, but sometimes there's too many people.

Why Sweden has so good orienteers?
We have very fine and very different terrain for orienteering and it was beginning many years ago, so we have very good experience.

What are the main differences between Scandinavian and South Europe terrains?
In South Europe it is more tracks and ways as it is easier to run fast. In Scandinavia it is big areas without tracks and ways (wilderness). I like both and it is a challenge to control all of them.

Which events were the best for you?
An event that was special for me was WMOC 1998 in Czech Republic, where I took the victory in W55, my sister Ulla Bengtsson the victory in W65 and my brother's son Lennart Larsson the victory in M40. A very good family story! Another special event for me was of course my first World Championship in W21, in relay race in East Germany 1970, and my other in Denmark 1974. In Czechoslovakia 1972 I got a bronze medal individual and a silver medal in relay race. Anything else I am very glad of is my 105 district victories, 10 Swedish victories as veteran (W50-W65) and 5 WMOC gold medals.

Can you indicate your best season?
Difficult to answer - maybe 1972 in W21 and 2007 as veteran.

What do you enjoy most in orienteering?
I am in the nature and I must be thinking and moving at the same time. Besides, I am visiting so many different kind of nature at every new event.

Have you made any friendships in this sport?
Yes, I made many friendships in my local club.

Do you have orienteers in your family?
Yes, my husband, 3 of my sisters and brothers and 13-14 of my sisters and brothers children (I have 7 brothers and sisters and 22 brothers and sisters' children).

What is the secret for your sporting long life?
I like to be in the nature, I have not gotten some big injuries and I am very well when I can train. Always new environments and nature to compete in.

What kind of training did you do when you were younger? And now, what do you do to maintain your performance?
Before, I was training very varied 6-7 days each week: long distance, short distance, intervals between 15 seconds to 3-5 minutes, hills up and down but only a little map-training (why, see below). Now, I am moving me outdoors about 5 days each week, running in 3 minutes-intervals, cycling, going by ski-sticks or skiing if it is snow here in the winter. I am not training for example spinning indoors.

Do you have any special care with what you eat?
No, I eat homely fare, both fish and flesh. I never get to McDonalds and other fast-food bars. I do not like beer but can drink one glass of wine. Often I drink water when I am eating.

What was your job before retiring? How could you coordinate your professional and sporting life?
My job was map-engineer. So, I had a little map training at my job! I had understanding employer and I used all my holidays to orienteering (camp of training and events). I was working full time all my working-life and I have not some children.

What are your hobbies besides orienteering?
I am reading very much and I try to loose crosswords for example.

What do you expect from WMOC 2008?
I am afraid it can be very warm - it is not my favourite. But I think it can be an interesting terrain to run orienteering in.

Can you give any message to the other competitors?
For many people I think it is a new country to see and then it is very nice to meet many orienteers from different countries.

(Interview by Manuel Dias. Questions and answers by ordinary mail. Received on 2007 Nov. 9th.)

[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

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