This article about the French training methods on world of O is quite interesting:
Certainly Thierry is a unique luminary and talent in the sport, and his rise was accompanied by Francois Gonon, Philippe Adamski, and others. But the French team has also had
ballistic ascent, culminating in Lucas Bassett's silver in the middle and the French bronze medal in the men's relay. I know a little about the St. Etienne training center because of Kempster and Giacomo, and it led me to thinking what it would take to do that in the US.
Certainly the US is geographically large - which has always been a prohibitive challenge, especially with the low density of orienteers. However, the elite local community can self-select for some period of time. What might a training center look like? The US Olympic center in Colorado Springs came to mind, but this isn't ideal for a long term solution. We don't require the extensive facilities of the center, and Colorado Springs is fairly remote. Still, because it's at altitude, it might be worth a field trip now and then.
Instead, I think there are three requirements for an OUSA training center:
- Lease or purchase a house with enough space for a number of athletes to reside with a coach (say Schirm)
- Proximity to maps and diverse, quality terrain (obviously)
- Proximity to a city with a number of universities, grocery stores, and the usual set of facilities
Perhaps interested up-and-comers (probably high school and college students) might apply to stay for a season or year - or multiple years, if an attractive location could be offered with opportunity to enroll at nearby universities. Residents of such a training center would probably pay some rate for living there, which could be covered by OUSA or clubs.