The first orienteering competition was held in the deep forests of Norway in 1897. With the help of a map and a compass, the runners searched for defined control points in the terrain.
One hundred years later the orienteers navigate at speed through parks and city centres around the world. Many European capitals have been conquered – just like Bangkok and Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing.
The Park World Tour has brought the action and excitement of the traditional sport right before the eyes of crowds of spectators and TV cameras. Thereby, orienteering has found its way back to China - where the compass was invented thousands of years ago. Now, the goal of the nation is to have more orienteers than all the other countries in the world altogether, by the year 2004.
The International Orienteering Federation has just over 60 member nations, but orienteering can be practised everywhere around the globe. The Park World Tour helps people of all ages to find their way to city parks and the great outdoors, for amusement and relaxation. The Park World Tour also promotes the incorporation of one of the world´s toughest sports into the Olympic programme.