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Thierry Gueorgiou at the 2005 World Championships (winning the
Thierry Gueorgiou (pronounced /ʒɒrʒʊ/; born
March 30, 1979)
is a French orienteer who has won
more than 20 gold
medals in international competitions, including the World Orienteering
Championships (WOC) middle distance event six times: 2003–2005
and 2007–2009. .
Gueorgiou runs for two orienteering clubs, the French NO
and the Finnish Kalevan Rasti.
With Kalevan Rasti he has won the Jukola Relay three
times (2004, 2005 and 2007).
Running for Fédération
Française de Course d'Orientation, he made his senior
international debut at WOC 1997 in Grimstad, Norway, at the age of 18.
Nordberg, Smola, and Gueorgiou finishing their race after aiding
Johansson; Gueorgiou has the stick in his pocket
At WOC 2009 in Miskolc, Hungary,
during the last leg of the relay race Gueorgiou, Anders Nordberg
(Norway), and Michal
Smola (Czech Republic) were close behind the lead runner, Martin Johansson (Sweden), when Johansson
suffered a 12 cm deep penetrating trauma from a stick in
his right thigh. While Nordberg
ran for help, Gueorgiou and Smola stayed with Johansson. Gueorgiou
pulled out the stick, then applied compression to the wound using
his own shirt and GPS
tracking harness. Gueorgiou and Smola then carried Johansson to
a road. Nordberg brought a physician there. Only
after Johansson was on his way to the hospital did the other three
continue on the course. All this happened so quickly, and the lead
runners had been so far in the lead, that the relay race was still
in progress. Gueorgiou, Nordberg, and Smola jogged together to the
finish, graciously yielding to other relay race competitors who
were not aware of the incident. They
finished 25th, 26th, and 27th.
Foot orienteering races are cross-country, off-rail races across
meadows and through forests. Spectators worldwide who were
following the men's relay race, via GPS tracking shown live on the Internet,
witnessed the strange behavior of the four leaders' GPS tracks on
the race map – the tracks stopped. Soon Nordberg’s track started
moving again, but it went to the road and then to the finish
After much deliberation on whether or not to void the relay, the
organizers declared that it stood.
Interpretation of IOF Foot-O Competition Rules was at issue: rule
26.13 states "The organiser must void a competition if at any point
it becomes clear that circumstances have arisen which make the
competition unfair or dangerous for the competitors." IOF president
Åke Jacobson told Gueorgiou, Nordberg and Smola "What you did today
is a great example of extreme sportsmanship and fair play. You are
an inspiration for all of us!"
An orienteering relay team has 3 runners. Orienteers have dubbed
Gueorgiou, Nordberg and Smola "Team Fairplay".
Gueorgiou also was a member of the French relay team at WOC 2008
in Olomouc, Czech
Republic. While running in a clear lead on the third leg, he
suffered a bee sting on
the back of his tongue. He
left the course to go directly to the finish, where he collapsed,
barely able to breathe. He was transported by helicopter to a
Gueorgiou was the 2006 European champion in trail
orienteering, and is noted for his technical expertise.
Gueorgiou's nickname is
Tero and he is commonly known as Tero
Kettunen in Finland and Terje Gundersen
in Norway. He
lives in St. Etienne,
France, where he studies biology.