At the beginning of a new season, Alena Fedoseeva tells us about her expectations and ambitions. Rising star of the MTB Orienteering, Alena's words reveal an unwavering will to triumph, both in sport and in life.
The first question is always the easiest: Who is Alena Fedoseeva?
Alena Fedoseeva (A. F.) - Hello. My name is Alena Fedoseeva and I'm 18 years old. I was born in Moscow, Russia, where I currently live. Sport has been my passion since childhood and I have always been fond of tennis, swimming and dancing. At the age of 11, I discovered orienteering and, since then, it became impossible to imagine my life without it. Currently, I'm studying psychology in Moscow State Language University. I love communicating with people as well as traveling and exploring the world.
What came first: Orienteering or bikes?
A. F. - Like most of us, I started with the basis, doing regular running exercises in a local park, becoming familiar with the map and widening my navigational skills. These vital exercises laid on FootO, which was replaced by SkiO during the winter season. In the end of my second year of practise, I took the decision to introduce myself to a third discipline and MTBO was the chosen one.
A. F. - In our club we have several strong athletes, such as Ruslan Gritsan and Grigory Medvedev, whose results and achievements awakened a huge desire and interest towards MTBO in me. In addition, speed always played a big role in this passion for sports, giving me the adrenaline I need to perform greatly. In my opinion, MTBO is a great discipline that reflects my will.
What do you see in this discipline that makes it so special?
A. F. - The hallmark of MTBO is the distinct combination of both physical and mental abilities, performed at high speed. It is there, where the brain joins the muscles, enabling the person to learn how to combine their work in the best way, that lies MTBO's beauty.
Can you remember the very first moment when you said to yourself: “ - That's it, MTBO is my sport!”
A. F. - Yes, it's a quite a vivid moment in my memory, when I got my first really important top position in the Russian MTBO Cup. I remember myself, standing on the podium, overwhelmed with great feelings and emotions of pride and achievement. In that precise moment, I told myself: “This medal is mine, I could achieve it thanks to my abilities and I am eager to go further and achieve even higher goals.”
With the second place in the Middle Distance in the last Junior World MTB Orienteering Championships, in Portugal, you get one of your best results so far. Would you like to talk about it?
A. F. - My biggest achievement so far is the gold in the Middle Distance of the Junior World MTB Orienteering Championships 2015, in Liberec (Czech Republic). Of course, I'm also proud of my second place in Portugal. Both courses were quite easy to understand in terms of navigation and I was able to stay focused throughout the whole race. The most recent achievement was a bit harder, because it wasn't easy to combine my University studies with training. The training time had to be managed in accordance to my new timetable and has been reduced. I was conscious of my limitations; still, I was able to fulfil the race successfully, without mistakes, reaching the podium once more!
Did you enjoy your week in Portugal?
A. F. - I have been to Portugal twice so far and I can wholeheartedly say that I'm in love with this country. Friendly people, cozy and quiet villages, the mystery and intimacy of the ocean, breathtaking scenery and outlined opportunities for MTBO lovers - all of that leaves an amazing impression of Portugal!
What's the meaning of being part of the Russian MTBO Junior Team?
A. F. - It's an honour to be part of the Russian National Team. We have a friendly and warm staff established, where everybody is ready to help each other at any moment and give support in any circumstances. I just want to emphasize that I'm motivated by the strongest athletes from the Elite group: Svetlana Poverina, Anton Foliforov, Ruslan Gritsan, Olga Shipilova-Vinogradova. I won't hide that I want to be like them and achieve the same results.
Does it mean that you're looking forward to quickly joining the Elite? How big can the step between the two categories be?
A. F. - A man can't live without goals. Personally, I decided that I would pursue a career as Elite athlete, because Orienteering has become an integral part of my life, helping me to develop and improve my skills. I'm aware that the gap between the Junior and the Elite group is huge. Sometimes I look at the Elite athletes and think about becoming a professional in our sport in the near future. These thoughts push me forward and I want to prove, mostly to myself, that I can do a lot. Diligent and regular trainings will help me to fulfil my ideas. Desire is the most important!
How do you evaluate the present moment of MTB orienteering worldwide? Are we going in the right way?
A. F. - MTBO is growing year after year, attracting an increasing number of people. So, we are going in the right way.
“It's in the Winter that you win the medals of the Summer”, Thierry Gueorgiou said. Do you agree?
A. F. - Yes, I do. The foundation laid in the Winter helps to reach good results in the Summer. But we must never forget that only regular exercise and training during the whole year keep you in shape. Unfortunately, last year was very difficult to combine both training and study, so I hope to have free time this Winter, to try to ski or take part in some SkiO competitions.
What are your main goals for 2017?
A. F. - The main goal is to be able to combine sports and studies, which are very important to me. I'm planning to learn a second foreign language and, of course, to take part in the European Championships in France and in the World Championships in Lithuania!
What advice would you give to those youngsters who are starting out in MTBO?
A. F. - Don't forget to look at the map at high speed and don't forget about high speed when looking at the map!