- How did you meet such a sport as orienteering? And how has it affected your life?
- In 2016, I first commented on orienteering competitions. It was the Latvian middle distance championship. The organizers knew me from work in other tournaments, so they offered to try in this sport. By the way. Latvia received the right to organize the World Cup in the adult category in 2018, and before that, our country hosted the World Cup stage. I worked at the World Cup, and then commented on the World Cup with my colleague Andris Rupais, who has been orienteering for over 20 years.
Commenting helps to feel a new joy in life, and for this I thank my parents: father Peteris and mother Sylvia that I am who I am!
Have you been professionally orienteering? If so, how many years, what were your successes?
- I did not do orienteering. In my life I gave 16 years to sports dancing, where I even became a two-time champion of Latvia, participated in the World Cup, in the World and European Championships.
- What was the path to the profession of a sports commentator? What was the hardest thing in the beginning?
- I started to comment in February 2010, and before that I wrote sports articles. In 2010, the Scandinavian Cup was held, and there was no one who could comment on this start. Then one of the organizers was told to invite me, because "Ivar will not need to look for a word in his pocket!" So the main organizer, Janis Lazdans, the president of the Latvian Orienteering Federation, invited me a week before the competition. I was glad that I could use my knowledge of skiing and knowledge of the Norwegian language. For three days there was a commotion. Despite the fact that I was an excellent pupil at school, one of the best in sports, a team captain and participated in major competitions, I never spoke to the public and thought it would be very difficult. It’s good that the excitement passed in the evening, and in the morning sports training and the words of my father helped me, which I took with me. I wanted him to hear his son commenting on cross-country skiing, including in Norwegian. The fact is that my father was engaged in skiing, and in Soviet times he learned Swedish and Norwegian.
Everything went perfectly! Norwegians were surprised that in such a small country where skiing is not very developed, there are people who know the language well and understand the details of this sport and are familiar with the results of many athletes.
- How often do you comment on various competitions, and how do you manage to keep so much information about athletes, their successes, to tell the audience all this?
- In the first year there were four tournaments, and already in 2011 about 10. Starting in 2012, I worked at 40 different starts, and in recent years their number has increased to 100-105, this is every weekend.
The rest of the time on weekdays, I do my main business, work as a lawyer in a government agency. Is it difficult to withstand this mode? Of course, the competition is very intense, but for me it is a hobby, and I do not take it as a duty. This mode can be sustained.
Some information remains in the memory, but still, every time you need to prepare for different competitions, and the more of them, the more difficult. Now there are 100 starts a year, and they are all in different sports, so it's hard to remember. Now I most often work in skiing, skiing, athletics, sports dancing, triathlon, orienteering and roller-skating. There were skateboards, rugby, biathlon, cross-country obstacle racing and much more in my career.
- Sometimes information about competitions can help not only me. At the European Snowboard Cup, I noticed that the organizers incorrectly held the draw for the 1/8 finals. I approached the representatives of the International Ski Federation with a sheet, they understood the mistake and then said that I had saved the European Cup, otherwise the protests would have started, and all the results had to be canceled.
- Now about the European Championship among juniors. Have you ever been to Grodno before? What impressions did you leave in our city, where did you manage to visit, what sights do you remember?
- I have never been to Grodno, but I came to Minsk in 1989 and 1992 to participate in international competitions in sports dancing. I must admit that in Grodno I was very busy with the championship, so I could not calmly walk around the city. I liked what I saw. There are friendly people on the streets who are ready to help. Surprised that in stores, saleswomen look stern and speak in a serious voice.
Rate the level of organization of the championship in Grodno? What happened, what else needs to be worked on?
- Everyone saw that the organizers tried very hard and wanted to bring this championship to Grodno. I think it was possible to do this, confirmation of this is the assessment of Dushan Vystavil and the international federation. I hope that my work helped to get a good grade.
Special thanks I want to say to Edward Arody for the invitation. It was nice to work with a team of organizers and feel good attitude. I want to thank Dushan Vystavel, Vitalius Paulauskas, Andrey Yakovlev, Sergey Gurinovich, Peter Mironov, Vitaly Tarasov, Sergey Mikhalkin, Anna Bovshevich and others.
- Do you have any idols in orienteering? Maybe there are people for whom you are personally a fan of all tournaments?
- In orienteering, I have no idols. There was a Norwegian Bjorn Delhi in skiing. He won many titles and always gave himself to the remainder and fell after the finish. He always respected everyone off the track, but in life. I am also impressed by the German biathlete Sven Fischer - he knows many languages, a leader and a wise person. Well, finally, another idol is my brother, a two-time finalist of the World Cup and Europe, a repeated champion of Latvia in sports dancing.
- What, in your opinion, is the future of orienteering?
- Orienteering has a good future. This is an interesting sport with a heavy load, and at the same time, intelligence is of great importance here. I hope that someday this sport will become Olympic. Each sport is complex, but in orienteering the load is higher than, for example, in golf.