Who is Who
Carlos Monteiro, WMOC Event Director
[Carlos Monteiro in Absolute National Championships, one month ago in Gerês. Photo Joaquim Margarido, initially published on his super blog http://www.orientovar.blogspot.com/]
Exactly a week before the start of the WMOC, is it everything ready? If it was necessary, could it begin today?
No, today it couldn't start because we have some details to finish and also because today we haven't the 300 volunteers to help on WMOC'08.
It must not have been easy, during 3 years, to command this army of "organizers". Which was the most critical moment since the organization of the event was attributed to Portugal?
Throughout the way, we faced big and small difficulties, but always with the help from the other members of the Organization Committee we managed to overcome it.
Any unhappy situation?
More than unhappiness, we had some disenchantment, but working in group has many advantages and one of them is that, if in a determined moment we are feeling down, quickly the group pulls us up.
Have you ever regretted to be in this adventure?
When we accept a challenge of this nature and we take responsibility for something that means a lot to our sport and our Federation, we have to put the collective interest above our personal will and move on.
What's your biggest wish for the 5th of July at 3 p.m.?
That everything went well, that the 3.500 athletes have liked the WMOC '08, that the supporters and the sponsors have been pleased by the return we provide them and, much more important, that we all as orienteers and club's coordinators have been proud for the work done.
What's your profession and how did you managed to conciliate your professional life with the preparation of the WMOC?
I work in a bank. More difficult than to conciliate the professional life with the WMOC'08 is to conciliate the family and personal life with it. Only the great involvement of Isabel in the sport and in WMOC'08 and the great understanding and tolerance of our two children have allowed me to manage this conciliation. In what respects to my job, the many daily hours of work are always secured and carried out.
It seems to me that the idea of the candidature to this WMOC was born in Halden on the 17th of July 2003. Is it true?
Yes, it's true. We were entering in the Arena in Halden (I, you, Rui Antunes, Albano João and Jorge Dias) when Rui Antunes launched this challenge.
The presence of Portuguese delegations was well known in the last two World Masters. Was the observation done in Austria and Finland useful to get some good ideas and, eventually, to correct less satisfactory aspects?
Our participation in four WMOC was very important and since Asiago that we were gathering the maximum information possible. Photos, films and reports gathered and made by us still important documents and of frequent consultation.
The POF President and the Senior Event Advisor already highlighted the excellence of the terrain where the event will take place. But nobody knows this pine forest as you and the athletes of your club seeded in Leiria do. Do you think some participants will come back just for pleasure in the future?
I'm sure they do, but I leave that evaluation to the athletes. If I'm right, it's an excellent opportunity for Portugal to become a tourist destination to athletes of the North of Europe, especially in winter, as our weather allows orienteering in periods in which the climate in those countries is not appealing to forest training.
To avoid an interminable list of interviews with elements of the organization, there were several sectors we didn't heard. Let's begin for the opening ceremony. Without disclose any surprise, what's possible to reveal about next Saturday's session?
We prepared a simple ceremony, where the main event is the parade of the athletes and countries and in which we will try to show a little of our traditions. We want all our ceremonies to be simple, short-lengthened but with the dignity that WMOC'08 and its participants deserve.
What will be more remarkable in the four arenas of the event? It is known that, besides the terrain and the courses, the image that the participants keep of the WMOC is based on how much are the arenas functional and spectacular. What are the principal trumps in this area?
As you know, we are going to have two types of races: Sprints and LD. In the first case, where the finish line is in urban zone, the Arena will be quite different from the one we will prepare in the forest, where we will provide a pleasant space. We will provide a space where the athlete can find several services, follow some parts of the courses of the two finals through the Speakers or through the Giant Screen, total, we want the athletes to fell well there and that after the races they keep socialize with other participants.
What meals will be served in the arenas?
Only in the Long Distance Arenas, we are going to have a diversified offer, from dishes traditionally required by the usual participants, till typically Portuguese dishes, since we also intend to show our gastronomy. Of course, we are going to have several types of drinks, where the Portuguese wine and beer will be present.
Five official races, five different start points. Any special decision in a start point? Any pre-start? Is the silence guaranteed in the surrounding area of the starts (situation not always resolved in the southern countries)?
We are looking for solutions to better serve the WMOC'08 and its participants, so that each course/level can take the maximum from the characteristics of each terrain. In the two sprint races, we are going to have a pre-start at -15. About the silence, only the participants can answer that question, though we will do everything so that breaking the silence will not be necessary.
Catarina Amorim worked in a basic area, even though she was on the shadow. Which was exactly her work and how did she managed it?
In this type of events all the areas are essential. Some work, as mappers and planners are visible, but a lot of people are invisible and as important as the examples above mentioned. Catarina Amorim is one of those important persons which have been doing a vital work on the shadow. Her work is based on the administrative and financial area and in the register of the athletes' requests to several services (accommodation, rent-a-car, parking, banquets and others). But fortunately we have in the team many other elements which great invisible work has been essential. But, because I don't want to take the risk of forgetting a name of some of these "invisible ones", I will not mention any names.
Let's talk about the IT Team. The biggest races in Portugal had, until now, a little more than 1000 athletes. How, in terms of equipment and human resources, will the organization face the challenge of processing information for the triple of the athletes?
First of all, we searched among the Portuguese participants for the human resources who wanted to accept the challenge of leading this Team. Then, with them, we shared the experience from Finland that seemed appropriate to what we think is needed to our WMOC. When the idea was assimilated, they searched the market, identified the equipment that they thought to be adequate and recommend its purchase. In Cantanhede we made the first test of the computer system which was a success and, since then, it has been improved by this team. Later, in Gerês, it was a success in several areas, even in the radio stations that we will have in the forest supplying information to the Speakers and to the Giant Screen.
Still in the IT area, I found unsatisfactory the way the inscriptions were presented along the last months without grouping by age classes. Do you have any explanation for that?
It was software developed exclusively for the WMOC'08, that had several functions and which we never managed to maximize its potential. As a backup and for all of those who did their inscription by e-mail or paper, we were using Excel, to where we export also the inscriptions entered in the Online System.
After the finish, how will each athlete receive his split times? It will be the classic strip of paper (the kind of the supermarket machine) or something more sophisticated? How many seconds for each print? Is there a risk of athletes' accumulation?
Well, that's a question that would be to our IT Team to answer, but I will try to substitute them (it's not easy). We are going to use 8 stations for download the SI Cards and 8 thermal printers that quickly will allow the athletes to have their split time printed.
How is the presentation of the results going to be done in the arenas? Affixed in conventional lists or/and electronic information? How often will they be updated?
We are going to use here the same system that was used in Austria. We are going to affix and to update the results each 15 minutes. In the finals, we'll use also the Giant Screen to divulge the 3 first places of each A Final.
In the finals, is there some type of information in real time on the passage of the best athletes in the intermediate points of the course?
Well, that would be a question where our Director of Arenas, Bruno Nazário, would be in better conditions to answer. But I can advance that we have several elements working on that area. We are going to have 22 radio stations on the terrain. This information will be being passed in real time to the Speakers and to the Giant Screen Team, which will have 3 cameras in the points and in the finish so that, altogether, they can produce sound and visual information that allow us all to follow the several final stages.
An event of this size has always impressive numbers. To help us understanding the dimension of this event could you give us some numbers about the logistics, transport, communications, refreshments, signaling, parking, etc?
It's a lot of material, many people, many working hours, lots of check points in the forest, many km of courses, a lot of water, a lot of everything, but mainly a lot of work of many elements, a great wish to please and to provide an unforgettable week to everybody.
Interviewed in this section, the IOF President underlined the urgency of increasing the visibility of orienteering (especially on TV), creating a "product" good to sell and finding the ability to sell it. The competition with the Euro 2008 certainly ruined the visibility of this WMOC. Even so, was it possible to score some points in the area?
Of course it is. We have RTP as partner and besides two TV shows broadcasted in Channel 1, we also had a publicity spot that was aired during a week in RTP's several channels, as well as several reports filmed during the event preparation. Also, other social media showed interest in knowing more about the event and the orienteering, publishing news about it on a regular basis. From now on we just have to explore the "doors" that opened and use it to show the beauty of orienteering.
If someone wants to take any physical memory of this WMOC, what can he find in terms of merchandising?
Poles, T-shirts, Port labeled for the WMOC'08, wine, bags, compasses, WMOC'08 DVD, among other stuff.
Is the production of some video with images of the WMOC projected in a way that the participants could order it here and then receive it at home?
Yes, we are going to produce a DVD of the WMOC 2008 where we intend to put images of Portugal as a tourist destination, images of the WMOC'08 in its several preparatory phases and then images of several stages of the WMOC'08 (Qualifying, Finals, Ceremonies and Banquet). We also intend to put a few hundred photos that will be gathered throughout the races.
You preside at one of the biggest Portuguese clubs. Since the POM 2002, the COC has been standing out for the results of its athletes, for the excellence of the events' organization and for the international prestige of its training camps. Do you want to leave any note on these three aspects?
The COC is just the reflex of the orienteering development in Portugal. It's a situation that, fortunately, is happening in many other Portuguese clubs. As in the other Portuguese clubs, we are a group on friends that have the same passion and each of us gives it what we know and what we can. From the union of the effort of all, results the final work like the three aspects you mentioned in the question above.
Do you want to leave any last recommendation to the athletes or to do any observation on a subject not mentioned in the questions above?
For the athletes I leave here the organization promise that we will do the best we know and we will treat them with the most deference possible. On the official race days, I ask them to reach the Arenas till 8.00 a.m. so that, with calm and serenity, they can enjoy the races, since the WMOC'08 will take place in several geographical areas where the traffic can cause difficulties and is more delayed after 8.00 a.m. I also would like to highlight the support from the Central Government, the Autarchy, Boards of Costums, of several State-owned Organisms, Firemen, Armed Force, Security Force, Sponsors and a unending number of persons and entities whose support granted along these last 2 years allowed the preparation and assembly of this WMOC'08. Finally, I would like to emphasize the great will of the Portuguese athletes that volunteered to work and whose union around the WMOC'08 project has been something really valuable.
Whatever it happens, we will never be the same after WMOC'08. We all learned already that, independently of our Club colour, we will be stronger if we are united and if we share the best of us.
(Interview by Manuel Dias. Questions and answers by e-mail. Received on 2008 Jun 14th. Translation by Paulo Pereiros.)
[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