It is not all over for Simone yet

Posted on | October 11, 2013 | Category: Arena

Simone Niggli finishing her last World Cup race. Photo: Erik Borg

It was a special moment in the centre of Baden, Switzerland. For years the smiling Swiss girl has been the brightest star in international orienteering. And now it was all over. Or was it?

All the female athletes met up in the finish field after Simone had finished the last World Cup race and stayed around her and honoured her. She gave everyone a hug.  It was a stirring moment both for her and for the other competitors, especially those who have been on the scene for a while. 

Verdenscup-finale Baden i Sveits, 30 kilometer nordvest for Zürich Søndag 6. oktober 2013
After the World Cup Final in Baden, Switzerland. Photo: Erik Borg

“She is such an incredible person. Her achievements are truly impressive, but I am also impressed by her as a person. There is not a person that would not like Simone. It’s impossible to not like her”, Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg says.

Many of the women ran the last race with Simone’s headband that had the text “Danke Sime – Thank you Sime”, on it.

Verdenscup-finale Baden i Sveits, 30 kilometer nordvest for Zürich Søndag 6. oktober 2013
Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg and the Simone head band. Photo: Erik Borg

In some way it looks like it’s been an adventure trip for Simone with all the medals, but behind her success lies incredibly hard work. That is also a bit of the reason why she decided not to go on. She likes the competition part of the year, but the winters are very tough with all the hard work.

But do you think she will retire totally?

“No, I will of course continue orienteering!” Simone smiles. “On Thursday I am going to Sweden.”

To Sweden?

 “Yes, I will take part in the 25-manna relay.”

 25-manna is a big relay with 25 runners, both male and female, from 10 to 70 years, in each team. Simone is running for Tisaren in this year’s race, organised in the Stockholm area. In all about 10,000 orienteers will take part.

In the future, Simone will be involved in improving Swiss orienteering. She will work with the Swiss orienteering training centre in Bern, and she and her husband Matthias Niggli are also in charge of the organisation of the Junior World Orienteering Championships 2016 in Engadin valley.

So, retired from world elite orienteering? Yes. Retired from orienteering? Absoutely not!


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