A stalwart of Norwegian Trail Orienteering has died aged 78 after a long and courageous fight against cancer. Ole-Johan Waaler was a very successful competitor and a hard-working member of the IOF Trail Orienteering Commission for many years.
After trying and enjoying TrailO at O-Ringen in 1990 and then again at the Norwegian O-Festival in 2002, TrailO took over from FootO as a serious part of Ole-Johan’s life in 2004. His standard improved so quickly that in 2007 he was bronze medallist at the World TrailO Championships in Ukraine. This was followed by a team silver medal at the European TrailO Championships in Latvia one year later; there, every team member had the surname Waaler!
Ole-Johan continued to compete around Europe at top level along with his son Lars Jakob and, more recently, his grandson Martin Aarholt, both of whom have given him great pleasure by their continued successes at national and international level. He contributed much over many years to the development and organisation of TrailO in Norway, and was very active in the IOF Trail Orienteering Commission through a time when TempO was becoming fully established and several newer nations were taking on major commitments.
Ole-Johan gave huge support and help to TrailO in many ways, and his death comes as sad news for the orienteering world. The IOF extends the deepest sympathies to his family and friends.