Jörgen Mårtensson criticizes IOF

“WOC should be organised every second year” – says the 50 years old legend. “IOF is mafia, just like many other sport organisations. The people there are more interested in defending their places there.” – The Swede criticizes further.

Jörgen Mårtensson had an unique O-career. He made his debut in the international orienteering during WOC in Norway, 1978. The 18 years old junior was even leading the competition in the first 1/3 part of the course, and finished at the 8th place.

Afterwards, in the 80’s, he competed in the shadow of the three strong Norwegians – Sagvolden, Thon and Berglia. But after their retirement from the elite orienteering, Jörgen showed the whole world that he is actually “The best of the best”. Mårtensson won WOC-gold in the Czech Republic (1991) and Germany (1995), and in 1997 he finished second. WOC’97 in Norway was his last, he threw in the towel before WOC’99 due to injury.

During his 19 years among the world elite, Jörgen has always been strongest physically : he used the best of many different training philosophies. His key to success : running in deep snow during the winter, showed results.

Jörgen Mårtensson nowadays. Photo: Kjell Einar Andersen for OPN.no

Jörgen has also his own position about the development of our sport, and the people who rule it. ”The orienteering is on the way to one unfortunate development” – Jörgen says. “We’ve lost many years that could be used for expanding the sport and create better conditions for the best runners” – he continues.

”The International Orienteering Federation (IOF) is mafia, just like many other sport organisations.” – Mårtensson explains. He means that the boards in such organisations are interested mainly in keeping their own places, and have bad contact with the reality and the sport itself.

”Another thing is that we have too comprehensive international program. It weakens instead to strengthen the orienteering” – the Swedish legend explains. “I see the positive things about going back to the old model – with WOC each second year, and many people support me” – Mårtensson continues.

The way further
He means that IOF is sleeping organisation, which is scared to let new and strong people inside it. ”The Czech Republic tried to get my old rival Jaroslav Karcmarcik in the IOF’s board, but without success. Jaroslav could have contributed a lot in IOF, but it looks like they don’t want any interventions” – Jörgen says.

He means the orienteering was in correct track with the Park World Tour idea. ”We got both media and sponsors with us, and the active competitors appreciated it!” – he says.

Eight years ago, Jörgen and his wife Hege moved from Strängnes in Sweden to Modum in Norway. They have four children : Henrik, Heidi, Anna and Erik. Jörgen is now working in his own travel agency, the PWT-Travels, together with another orienteer: Jens Kristian Kopland.


Source: OPN.no / author: Hans L. Werp