When I wrote my last blog about my “Rollercoaster-EOC”, I was writing about my own performances in the sprint-races and didn’t know that the rollercoaster would take a VERY deep fall in the end of EOC.
A hidden camera was discovered in one of the athletes’ rooms and we got the information, that it was put there by one of our team-leaders and that he had been sent home, after the middle distance final. It was some of the most surreal hours in my life driving back to the hotel, in the evening with the team, during the more or less sleepless night with my thoughts and before and during the relay the day after. Luckily we had our sportspsychologist with us, and he guided all of the team through some sessions with a lot of questions, thoughts and emotions. We were encouraged to be as open and honest about our feelings and thought as possible, and even though it was tough and emotional to express and especially to listens to the others’ feelings, I’m happy that we did it. We have really stood together all the way and helped each other, both coaches and runners, which have made the process of moving on a lot easier.
We also decided to give the relay a try even though no one had slept much and orienteering seemed so indifferent the next morning. I wanted to give up many times in the quarantine before the race, and my warm-up consisted of 3 minutes jogging... But actually it was really nice to get the map and just do one of the things I love the most, finding my way in the forest. It was not before I made a big mistake in the middle of my race, I realized that I had not been thinking on the terrible incident for 15-20 minutes. The last part of the race was not that funny, because I started to feel sorry for myself, but it was nice to see that orienteering and training could be an important part of the way back to a “normal” state of mind. The fact that the Danish Teams completed the relay under the worst thinkable conditions also underlines that it takes a lot to break the spirit of the Danish Team. I’m proud of the way all of us handled this incident the last days in Czech Republic and I hope that this still ongoing process somehow will make the team stronger in the future.
It has been some tough weeks back in Denmark with a lot of conversations and phonecalls with family and friends, and meetings with other involved who weren’t at EOC. I have tried to be a part of as much as possible of it, even though it has been tough to see peoples reactions when they get the facts. I have also tried to keep on training and living my life as “normal” even though some trainings have been terrible... However, it has generally been better and better during the last weeks, and I have also been finding some motivation to focus on WOC. Life goes on, and so does mine. My feeling is that most of the others are slowly moving on as well. In Pan Århus we have been discussing wheter or not it would be a good idea to go to Jukola, and there have been no pressure from either coaches or teammates. In the end most of the men and some of the women in Pan Århus decided to go. We will travel to Finland tonight and I’m looking forward to some nice orienteering in great surroundings. Even though we have a strong mens team, our focus with Jukola is not on performing, but more about finding the joy and motivation for orienteering again. However, our focus might change slightly when the sun sets on Saturday and thousands of runners turn on their headlight on the starting line. Let's see…