The national Team runners on Thierry ”To start with, it is just unbelievable that he came to the Swedish National team” What impression does someone leave who it can be said, has revolutionised their sport? Skogssport talked to National Team members on what it meant for them to have Thierry Gueorgiou joining their team. There are many exciting examples of those who have developed their area of expertise, their passion and environment by quite simply doing something new, something extra or something different. The high-jump has Richard Fosbury and his initially unique jumping technique where the athlete gave up jumping forwards and turned to have his back facing the bar. In Ski-jumping, Swede Jan Boklöv made an impression by flying through the air with his skis forming the letter V. In the world of rock journalism, the term ”influential” is often used to describe a band which through its innovative way of writing songs has characterised colourful, modern artists. For example, take the American group, Pixies, who already thirty years ago proved it possible that rock music could scream strange phrases in Spanish. In this magazine, Thierry Gueorgiou mentions another profile that has been important for influencing certain phenomena to look like they are today. The boxer, Muhammad Ali, with his loud and charismatic style, may well be said to have laid the foundation for the modern sports star with their own clothing brands and emojis. And of course, Thierry Gueorgiou himself. The successful Orienteer has opened up new ideas and ways to develop orienteering through his training methods discussed here. From last year he has been focused on helping the Swedish runners through his job working with the National Team. Is there a clear legacy already after Thierry Gueorgiou’s active career, or does the Frenchman have to build this up now, since retiring? Skogssport has talked to a handful of Orienteering personalities to get an idea of how the legend is shaping the stars of today and tomorrow. Former National Team runner and Gueorgiou’s Coaching Colleague for some time now, Kalle Dalin, is sitting with his Junior National Team hat on considering two interesting perspectives. Firstly, he knows what Thierry has meant as a competitor, and secondly what Thierry means as a model for the country’s greatest talents. – In the beginning when you saw him as a competitor, you reacted by saying he orienteered so unbelievably well. ”He’s from France, how can he be so good at orienteering?” Then he got better and better before he finally dominated, and then we realised he must be doing something we are not doing. Later we have discovered how incredibly serious he is with his technique development, with his technique training and with every session, says Dalin and continues: – If I look back at my own preparation for orienteering technique sessions… Thierry almost certainly has thousands of sessions which are better prepared than my most prepared session. The fact that today’s Juniors are given the chance at the age of 17-20 to see how the most serious can prepare a training session is most instructive for them. ”Oh, does it take that much to get really good?” Some may be scared of it, others may be inspired. Kalle Dalin adds that there are more ways for those who want to reach their full potential, but comments that one can absolutely learn a lot from looking at the path Gueorgiou has taken. – It was after my career that I realised what he was doing. When he started talking in Sweden, when he himself started to explain and, for example, Skogsport did interviews. Skogsport was allowed to follow along when he ran down a football pitch map-reading before a competition. One reason is because they were forced to do it. In Sweden we can orienteer whenever we like. It is a given, which may mean that we do not do that little bit extra. They must fight more for things which may lead to a slightly higher quality of training. One of Kalle Dalin’s athletes, 18-year-old Junior Team member Axel Granqvist, has partly entered a new world since he started to collaborate with Thierry Gueorgiou. – Initially, it was quite ’sick’ that he came to the Swedish National Team. I think I was selected into the National Team after he started, so I did not know what to expect. Often, he runs behind you with commentary sound, so at each training you always get a competition feel. So, you can train with it, explains Axel enthusiastically. – The first training I took part in, a relay training at Kolmården, I messed up a control. Afterwards I got an e-mail from Thierry with a wealth of feedback on things I should think about. Tips just for me. Now when you follow him close-up; what do you think is the reason he got so good as an Orienteer? – I think he thinks very much. He analyses his races afterwards and takes time to do this. “What could I have done better?” That’s how he tries to make us think, I guess. It’s really good. Senior Team member Albin Ridefelt is a runner who has made progress during the course of the year. He is very pleased to have had the Orienteering Icon as a coach. – He is extremely good at maintaining a high level with the trainings he sets. This year’s National Team camp in Alicante and Madrid are the best camps I have ever been to. Good training and well thought through exercises, says Albin. So it is not specific phenomena or details which define Thierry Gueorgiou’s Orienteering Legacy. Rather the Frenchman is a spellbinding inspiration who gives Swedish runners new power to take on their tough elite careers. – Exemplary in everything he works with. A professional attitude to his entire sporting effort. Including Physical training, diet, recovery, technical training and the mental side. He shares it with us, concludes Albin Ridefelt.