I hear "Orienteering is a real sport"?, a lot, when I present to new groups and schools. Orienteering is the national sport of Sweden. There are school teams that compete with other schools as any other school sport.
You can visit the US Orienteering Federation website to learn more.
There are active sites for competitors and novices to keep track of their own training and competition,as well as watch others' information. Visit Attack Point.
or the Junior training site: Junior's
You can even see a US Junior Video on YouTube. It is long and fast to watch, but it gives a good idea of the excitement the competition generates. It's called O.MOV
Orienteering does not have to be a race. Developing the skills of map reading and navigating transfers to many other life skills. You can always email me at email@example.com or visit my website and I can help you find a local event. There is Ski-O, Mtn Bike O, Canoe O, Night O, Mounted (horse) O, radio transmitter-O, Scuba-O as well as any sport you can think of. I did read about Unicycle O......
And there is always the excitement of going as fast as you can for 24 hours....Here I am with my partner, Anne, at about 22 hours into the World Championship in Australia 100 degrees, Brown snakes, wild Boar..... Yeah....I'm the silly one.