Today, Saturday the 18th of July, O-Ringen Uppsala 2020 was supposed to start in earnest.
The O-Ringen Square would have opened at noon and the training races at Sävja and Norra Lunsen would have had their first start in the afternoon. O-Ringen City camping, that would have opened already on Thursday the 16th of July, would have filled up with the last of the caravans and the first of the long tables would have been set for the evening when club pals gather to gather energy for the coming O-Ringen week. All around O-Ringen City familiar faces, happy reunions and new acquaintances contributed to create that magical feeling of happiness and community that is so characteristic for O-Ringen each year.
The day after we would have gathered for a grand opening ceremony and an awesome Bagheera relay at the new Studenternas arena. And then we would have started O-Ringen for real with the first stage in Nåsten on Monday the 20th of July. A never-ending stream of bikes would have made the short trip from O-Ringen City to Arena Pattons Hage where our speaker Per Forsbergs familiar voice would have welcomed us with hopes for a successful stage. Club flags would have blown in the wind and the smell of freshly mown grass would have mixed with sweat, sun block and food from our kiosks. On our way to the start we would have met more old orienteering pals and out in the woods there would have been both hits and misses in the beautiful Nåsten terrain. Back in the caravan route choices would have been analysed before the long tables are set again for socializing and maybe celebrating the victories of the club pals. Before bedtime competition and vacation plans for the rest of the week would start to take shape. Swimming areas, activities and tourist sites would be reconnoitred in the program paper and on web pages. But mostly you would have just enjoyed being a part of "The worlds biggest orienteering adventure".
We will not get to experience any of this this year. The risk of spreading the Corona virus puts a stop to it all. Peoples life and health is obviously more important than anything else. None the less, the sense of loss without O-Ringen is great. One of the obvious highlights of the summer and the event that unites so many orienteerers from all over the world will not take place for the first time since the start in 1965.
But the position of O-Ringen is strong and it will survive and come back stronger than ever when life goes back to normal. So, there will be a strong pent up need for O-Ringen that we look forward to getting an outlet for next summer.
Bookings for O-Ringen Uppsala 2021 are now open – we look forward to welcoming you there!