February

Name: Olga Novikova

Country: Kazakhstan

Discipline: Ski and foot orienteering

Career highlights in ski orienteering: 2004 Junior World Champion on short distance, 2007 World Championships silver in sprint


Olga Novikova was born in Kazakhstan where her father was also originally from. At 14 years of age she moved to Russia and competed as part of the Russian team during her first year as an international athlete. Apart from competing in two different national teams she also has experience of another orienteering discipline. Last year she took part in World Orienteering Championships in Trondheim and finished 30th on the middle distance final. She was actually the first Kazakh to make it to a World Championships final in foot orienteering.

Now she is concentratinf fully on ski orienteering and focusing on the upcoming Asian Winter Games in Astana-Almaty, Kazakhstan and World Ski Orienteering Championships that take place in Tänndalen, Sweden at the end of March. She was not completely satisfied with her summer training but she now feels rather confident when it comes to her preparedness for this seasons events.

–I am looking forward to the big competitions and I believe it will be really interesting and a lot of fun, she says.

The Asian Winter Games is the most important competition for Olga this winter. She will have the advantage of competing on home ground and she is excited to see some new faces.

–It’s nice to have athletes from “new” countries like Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Korea, China and Iran, she says.


Ski orienteering is in a lot of ways very important for Olga Novikova. She is also a very family oriented person looking forward to having her own big family one day.

What are you doing when you are not training or doing sport?

– I spend time with my family and my favourite nephew. Shopping is also nice. I like to travel and see beautiful places. Cars are also a thing I like. I look forward to having one of my own.

The Kazakh thinks she will never stop orienteering. “Orienteering is my way of life!” But when it’s time to have a more regular occupation, she plans to make use of all her knowledge of training and competing in a lot of different places.

– Maybe I will set up a travel agency. My dream is also to visit Australia, Alaska and the Maldives.

Even if sport is fun there are also other nice things in life.

– It’s nice when this one special man writes to me, but it’s even nicer when I can see him! I look forward to living with my beloved man, having two or three children and enjoying life.

What kind of things do people not know about you?

– Yes, I have some things, but let them still be a secret, Olga smiles.

Next month we get acquainted with the successful-at-an-early-age and ever so quick-witted Olli-Markus Taivainen from the Finnish team. If you have questions for Olli-Markus, please send them to athleteofthemonth@orienteering.org.

Ski orienteering photo: Erik Borg

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