From 2006 and onwards the white moose Albin became a Norwegian and international celebrity while he peacefully strolled around in the WOC forest in the Mørk-area. It all came to an end a beautiful autumn day in 2011 when he met a Danish hunter.
When the best orienteers in the world meet up fighting for the WOC medals in August, these forests haven’t been used for orienteering for more than 50 years.
Up until eight years ago another “King of the Forest” reigned this area running happily around, the white moose Albin. He probably knew the area better than anyone.
The white moose was assumed to be an albino, so the readers of Norway’s largest evening newspaper VG named him Albin. The woman that first got sight of Albin even got invited to Norway’s most viewed TV talk show ‘Skavlan’.
In Våler souvenirs with symbols of the white elk was sold, and the presence of Albin was used to create the slogan “Room for everyone” – he became a symbol for diversity and tolerance in a time where immigration and integration dominated the public press.
Stone cold hunter
The local hunting teams didn’t dare putting down Albin during the annual autumn hunts.
The sunshine story lasted until one day he appeared in the aiming view of a Danish guest hunter who obviously had no idea of which celebrity he was about to finish off. The hunter Ole Frost was stone cold as he sent Albin to eternity. This was eight years ago, where the same forest is being prepared for WOC 2019. Frost’s hunting team met furious public outrage and were even submitted to (fortunately hollow) death threats.
Albin’s meat became stew and the antler Frost got to bring home to Silkeborg in Denmark as a souvenir. Albin’s fur though can be seen even today on the wall outside of a grocery store in Svinndal, just 10k south of the WOC arena at Mørk.
Here you’ll also find the Albin-logo with the text “En plass for alle! (Room for everyone) Svinndal, Norway”. The Albin-logo can even be found at the elementary school, as an eternal remembrance of the white moose.
A white moose of peace
Next to Albin’s fur there’s even an information sign that says:
"This memorial is raised by the inhabitants of Svinndal, made possible by donations from Sparebank1 Østfold Akerhus.
ALBIN (2006–2011) is the story of courage to be who you are, about tolerance and acceptance, about that diversity is better than uniformity, about love and warmth and that we’re free to choose to be inspired by each other and our good sides. This is the story of the little moose calf who grew larger than himself.”
In the local school play ‘Room for everyone’ a pupil portraying General Secretary of UN, Ban Ki Moon, said:
'The white moose Albin in Svinndal is a symbol of tolerance, of equality and peace. He has shown us that even though we are different, we have the same values, and that diversity is a force in itself. With Albin as a model there can be peace in the world.'
Room for everyone
«Room for everyone» could just as well have been the motto for WOC 2019.
We put a lot of effort to create WOC competitions that will be decided in a fair way and in mutual respect, and that participants and spectators from all over the world will have a wonderful week.
And we look forward to seeing who’ll be stone coldest, which famous stars will fall and where the trophies will end up this time. WOC 2019 has room for everyone nevertheless!