Thormod Berg - NOR - RIP

It was with some shock that I read on World of O of Thormod Berg's death. He was only 36. He suffered severe head injuries in a cycle accident in Oslo, ended up in a coma, and gave up the struggle for the most precious of things, life, on Sat 1st March 2008. I am not aware he had any children yet but his long term partner, Elisabeth Ingvaldsen (who was also a long standing member of the Norwegian O team) must be distraught right now and my heart goes out to her.

Thormod was a character: many of us thought he was one control short of a score event and indeed the world was a richer place because of it. I cant say I knew him desparately well, but there were a few times within the realms of International Orienteering when I spent some time with him. I have some fond memories of him, such as in South Africa in 2004. Nydalen Orienteering Club were there warm weather training and he spots what I can only say is the biggest 'wild' snake I have ever seen. Luckily, it was pretty scared and started to flee as Thormod positively exploded with excitment, started screaming and chasing the snake. It was gone of course in a matter of seconds, but I am not sure I know many who would start chasing such a thing!

It was in South Africa too where I accompanied him on a MTB while he decided to Roller Ski, poles and all, down the main road from Dullstrom for several miles before turning. He was after all a Junior Champion in Ski-O from 1990. We were nearly home - having dodged various vehicles (rollerskiing takes up lots of room especially when you are skating) - and a white South African in his Mercedes, family inside too, stopped ahead of us, got out his car and started screaming at him - "What the **** are you doing!? You cant do that on our roads! ***!@..." He just skated by with a faint smile on his face as I feared the guy was about to pull a gun on him....

Thormod was such a positive, enthusiastic lover of life - I suspect he never felt or thought anything could ever harm him. I guess it may have been this attitude which led him to have a fatal bike accident. However, if he could look back now, I am sure he would still smile and be happy that he had seized life with all its positive vitality. I hope his loss will teach us all a lesson to achieve and experience now, before it is too late.

God Bless you and may you rest in Peace.