Who is Who
Paulo Becker

Paulo Becker, M45, BRA

[The COSM President's official full name in competitions is Paulo Calisto Becker.]

When did you discover orienteering?
In 1984, during military service.

What are the highlights of your orienteering career?
Gaúcho Champion, Brazilian Champion and South-American Orienteering Champion.

Where have you been competing in big events?
O-Ringen in 2004, WMOC in Asiago, Belgian National Championship. But what moved me the most was the challenge to organize the Brazilian 5-Days of Orienteering!

Have you practiced other sports? I noticed a time of 32.03 for 7.2 km, maybe in a road race.
Sometimes I do some street race! The record you mention was on "I Rústica da Amizade", July 2007. I remember a 10 km course, in 2001/2002, when I got 39 min.

In 2006 you were the South-American Orienteering Champion in H40. What memories do you have from this event?
It was a predominantly white map, with araucaria forest, my favorite kind of vegetation. The race took place in the city of Pinhão, in the state of Paraná. There were athletes from Brazil, Uruguay, Argentine, Chile and Ecuador. The competition had two courses: a medium and a long one. In the first course I achieved second place and I won the long one, becoming the overall champion.

Do you remember your best race?
It was a CamBOr (Orienteering Brazilian Championship) in 2004, in Santa Catarina, just before the Asiago World Championship. I was really fit.

And the worst one?
In 1985, in a military competition, with a map scaled 1/25.000, I was a rookie and I got lost. When I arrived, everybody had already gone! There was just a friend of mine to take me a picture. It was raining a lot!

The Santa Maria Orienteering Club (COSM), of which you are the president, organized in 2006 the first Brazilian 5-Days. Do you remember how important that event was?
It was for sure the biggest orienteering event in Brazil. We gathered 630 athletes, among them, 150 old school participants from Europe, brought by our beloved Jörgen Mårtensson, at whom we own the success of that event. People had never seen so many foreigners, doing so well in orienteering.

Where were the 5-Days held? How good were the maps and terrain? Did it have similar impact as the World Military Championship?
The event was in São Pedro do Polênise and Santa Maria, nearby cities (70km), in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The maps were praised by the best athletes, such as Mr. Jörgen Mårtensson. The cartographers were Alciomar Bona, Adriano Beviláqua and Carlos Adriano de Leão Lucas. In repercussion terms, yes, it was similar to the World Military Championship.

COSM is the oldest Brazilian club in orienteering. When was it founded? How many athletes do you have? What activities do you usually do?
It was created in 4th July 1991, by a military group, in the city of Santa Maria - Rio Grande do Sul. Nowadays it has 125 athletes! Once a year we organize the Municipal Orienteering Championship, which has from three to six stages. Usually it has a stage in the Gaúcho Championship of Orienteering (CGO). In 2007, we organized two stages of the CGO and, in 2006, we organized the Brazilian 5-Days, two South-American Championships and two Brazilian Championships. In 2007 we organized the Orienteering Marathon, a 30km competition. The first CGO was organized by the COSM, in 1992, as the first official competition.

When was the Brazilian Orienteering Confederation founded?
It was established in 1999 and nowadays it congregates 10 federations.

How is orienteering in Brazil now?
It's growing. We need to make this sport known, so the authorities could recognize its goal and importance. From competitions to congresses, we have nearly 25 national events every year! And each state organizes its State Championship or Circuit. In Rio Grande do Sul, the Gaúcho Championship at the present time has 7 stages!

Which is the best State Championship?
In my opinion, the most competitive state championship is the Gaúcho (CGO), followed by the Circuito Paranaense.

How many orienteers attend a national race?
Near 500 athletes!

And how many in an event in Rio Grande do Sul?
350 athletes, like the one in 30th March 2008, organized by COSM: 363 athletes.

Who are the top Elite runners?
Leandro Pasturiza, Gilmar Steffler, Carlos Alberto Araújo and Cláudio Tokarski.

I saw the names of Peo Bengtsson and Higino Esteves (as IOF member) associated with the starting of orienteering in Brazil...
Those are names always remembered by the President of the Brazilian Orienteering Confederation (CBO), as co-workers to orienteering development in Brazil.

Your daughter Sâmara da Costa Becker also practices orienteering. How old is she? What were her best results? Do you think she can have an Elite career?
She's 18 years old. She was Gaúcha Champion, Brazilian Champion and South-American Orienteering Champion. At the moment, she can't be in the Elite career because she's studying at Law University. In Brazil, the majority of athletes leave orienteering when they go into the University!

Do you think Brazil has any special conditions for orienteering? In such a large country, what are the main types of terrain?
Yes, Brazil has good conditions. In Amazonia, there is low visibility terrain. In Rio Grande do Sul, there are open fields and good visibility; in Mato Grosso, there is dense vegetation, very thick that obstructs the progression. In Santa Catarina, the "taquareiras" in the araucaria forest wound the athletes, also slowing them down. In the littoral north, Pernambuco, we ran through coconut palms, the visibility was ok, but the feet sink in the sand.

COSM brings a dozen athletes to WMOC. What type of group is this?
It's a united group of athletes that practice all the orienteering events and exchange ideas about their courses to improve their performance.

Why did you consider coming to Portugal?
I started that idea 2 years ago and I tried to gather everybody's confidence by the good relationship we have with Portugal.

Coming to Europe, will you compete in other countries?
Some athletes will go to other events and also to know Portugal.

Do you have in your group someone special to be mentioned?
We have a Uruguayan athlete, Mr. Amílcar Hubo Quintela, from COSM! His charisma and persistence are an example for us all. He's a doctor and he was a military.

What do you (COSM and Paulo Calisto Becker) expect from WMOC 2008?
For COSM: to bring some knowledge and news to the club's athletes. For me: to do my best during the courses, trying to achieve a classification suitable to my technical knowledge, and the humbleness to recognize a worthy victory to those who win.

(interview by Manuel Dias. Questions and answers by e-mail. Received on 2008 Apr 1st. Translation from Portuguese by Susana Pedro and Paulo Pereiros.)

[2008-06-20] Carlos Monteiro, WMOC Event Director

[2008-06-20] Dieter Wolf, M55, SUI

[2008-06-19] Timo Teinila, WMOC speaker

[2008-06-19] Jorge Simões, WMOC Event Director assistant

[2008-06-18] Blair Trewin, M35, AUS

[2008-06-18] Mariett Matias, WMOC Media responsible

[2008-06-17] David May, WMOC Senior Event Advisor

[2008-06-16] Gottfried Tobler, M60, AUT

[2008-06-16] Tuulikki Salmenkylä, W45, FIN

[2008-06-16] Arvo Majoinen, M80, FIN

[2008-06-14] Fernando Costa, WMOC Marketing responsible

[2008-06-13] Sarah Dunn, W40, GBR

[2008-06-12] Santos Sousa, WMOC planner

[2008-06-11] Sigurd Daehli, M55, NOR

[2008-06-10] Alexandre Reis, WMOC mapper and planner

[2008-06-09] Nick Duca, M40, CAN

[2008-06-07] Tiago Aires, WMOC mapper and planner

[2008-06-06] Irina Stepanova, W55, RUS

[2008-06-05] Luís Sérgio, WMOC mapper

[2008-06-04] Ari Kattainen, M50, FIN

[2008-06-03] Rui Antunes, WMOC Mapping coordinator

[2008-06-02] Jon Musgrave, M45, GBR

[2008-05-31] Jacinto Eleutério, WMOC Course coordinator

[2008-05-30] Rune Carlsson, M70, SWE

[2008-05-29] Åke Jacobson, IOF President

[2008-05-29] Augusto Almeida, POF President

[2008-05-28] Jurate Uleviciene, W55, LIT

[2008-05-26] Vladimir Ioffe, M70, ISR

[2008-05-23] José Fernandes, M45, POR

[2008-05-21] Ezio Paris, M55, ITA

[2008-05-19] Gabriella Györffy, W40, HUN

[2008-05-16] Alberto Minguez, M40, ESP

[2008-05-14] Tomas Zdrahal, M55, CZE

[2008-05-12] Paulo Becker, M45, BRA

[2008-05-09] Ingrid Roll, W70, NOR

[2008-05-07] Jerzy Parzewski, M55, POL

[2008-05-05] Hugh Moore, M60, AUS

[2008-05-02] Martin Checkley, M55, GBR

[2008-04-30] Etienne Bousser, M60, FRA

[2008-04-28] Andreas Grote, M40, SUI

[2008-04-24] Liudmila Labutina, W65, RUS

[2008-04-22] Freddy Sillien, M60, BEL

[2008-04-17] Tomislav Kaniski, M35, CRO

[2008-04-14] Eero Tuuteri, M85, FIN

[2008-04-10] Lena Nordahl, W80, SWE

[2008-04-07] Albano João, M45, POR

[2008-04-03] Tom A. Karlsen, M55, NOR

[2008-03-31] Kayoko Sakai, W55, JPN

[2008-03-27] Finn Arildsen, M45, DEN

[2008-03-24] Anne Nurmi, W45, FIN

[2008-03-20] Peo Bengtsson, M75, SWE

[2008-03-17] Alida Abola, W50, LAT

[2008-03-13] Matti Railimo, M60, FIN

[2008-03-10] Cornelia Eckardt, W35, GER

[2008-03-06] Joaquim Sousa, M35, POR

[2008-03-03] Birgitta Olsson, W75, SWE

[2008-02-20] J. Salmenkylä, M75, FIN

[2008-02-18] Torid Kvaal, W65, NOR

[2008-02-15] Mykola Bozhko, M55, UKR

[2008-02-13] Pavlina Brautigam, W45, USA

[2008-02-11] Ferran Santoyo, M35, ESP

[2008-02-08] Sole Nieminen, W80, FIN

[2008-02-06] Stefano Galletti, M40, ITA

[2008-02-04] Gillian Ingham, W50, NZL

[2008-02-01] Jörgen Mårtensson, M45, SWE

[2008-01-30] Tom Hiltebrand, M50, SUI

[2008-01-28] Baiba Ozola, W40, LAT

[2008-01-25] Eddie Harwood, M55, GBR

[2008-01-23] Marje Viirmann, W45, EST

[2008-01-21] Alexander Afonyushkin, M40, RUS

[2008-01-18] Paulina Majova, W55, SVK

[2008-01-16] Björn Linnersjö, M65, SWE

[2008-01-15] Lillian Røss, W85, NOR

[2008-01-10] Tapio Peippo, M55, FIN

[2008-01-07] Elizabeth Brown, W90, GBR

[2008-01-04] Erkki Luntamo, M90, FIN

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