2006 Winter Games
Home · News · Medal Count · Schedule · Calendar · Info · Medals · Update
 

Winter Olympics - Cross Country Skiing

Courtesy of The United States Olympic Committee

ORIGIN

There is evidence that primitive skis were used in Norway over 5,000 years ago. As early as the 10th century, Vikings used skis for transportation. It wasn't until the 19th century, however, that ski competitions came into existence, starting in Norway. The famous Holmenkollen ski festival was started in 1892. At first, the main focus of these nordic festivals was the nordic combined event -- cross-country skiing and ski jumping. In 1900, a separate cross-country race was held at the Holmenkollen.

HISTORY

Cross-country skiing was contested at the inaugural Olympic Winter Games in 1924 and has been a part of every Winter Games since. The events held at the first Games in Chamonix were the 15km and the 50km.

A women's cross-country event, the 10km, was added to the Olympic program in 1952.

The Soviet Union has won the most Olympic medals in cross-country, with 77. It also has won the most gold medals, with 28. Norway has the second-most total medals, with 73.

EVENTS

Men's 1.5km sprint

This event is being contested for the first time at the Salt Lake City Games. At 1.5 kilometers, it is the shortest event on the men's cross-country program, and any style of skiing is allowed (freestyle). The sprint events are different from the other cross-country events in that they are contested in a series of elimination rounds. After a qualifying round, the top 16 skiers advance to the elimination portion of the competition. In the quarterfinals, there are four races of four skiers each. The top two skiers from each of the four races advance to the semifinals. The semifinals are two races of four skiers each. The top two skiers from each race in the semifinals advance to the final. The winner of the final is the gold medalist.

Women's 1.5km sprint

This event is being contested for the first time at the Salt Lake City Games. At 1.5 kilometers, it is the shortest event on the women's cross-country program, and any style of skiing is allowed (freestyle). The sprint events are different from the other cross-country events in that they are contested in a series of elimination rounds. After a qualifying round, the top 16 skiers advance to the elimination portion of the competition. In the quarterfinals, there are four races of four skiers each. The top two skiers from each of the four races advance to the semifinals. The semifinals are two races of four skiers each. The top two skiers from each race in the semifinals advance to the final. The winner of the final is the gold medalist.

Women's 10km classical

This event, in which athletes ski 10 kilometers in classical style, is being contested at the Winter Games for the first time since 1988.

Men's 15km classical

This event, in which athletes ski 15 kilometers in classical style, is being contested at the Winter Games for the first time since 1988.

Women's combined pursuit

This event features two separate races on the same day. The first part of the event is 5 kilometers in classical style. The second part is a 5-kilometer freestyle race. Competitors start the freestyle portion staggered according to their finish in the classical portion so the athlete who crosses the finish line first is the winner.

The combined pursuit event has been changed since the Nagano Games. In 1998, the classical and freestyle portions of the pursuit were contested on different days. The 5-kilometer classical was on the first day and was a medal event in addition to being the first part of the pursuit. The freestyle part was on the second day, and in 1998 it measured 10 kilometers. In Salt Lake, the first leg of the pursuit is not a separate medal event.

Men's combined pursuit

This event features two separate races on the same day. The first part of the event is a 10-kilometer race in classical style. The second part is a 10-kilometer freestyle race. Competitors start the freestyle portion staggered according to their finish in the classical portion, so the athlete who crosses the finish line first is the winner.

The combined pursuit event has been changed since the Nagano Games. In 1998, the classical and freestyle portions of the pursuit were contested on different days. The 10-kilometer classical was on the first day, and in addition to being the first part of the pursuit, it also was a medal event. The freestyle part was on the second day, and in 1998, it measured 15 kilometers. In Salt Lake, the first leg of the pursuit is not a separate medal event.

Women's 15km freestyle

This is a 15-kilometer race in which any style of skiing is permitted (freestyle). At the 1998 Winter Games, the women's 15-kilometer event was contested in the classical style.

Men's 30km freestyle

This is a 30-kilometer race in which any style of skiing is permitted (freestyle). At the 1998 Winter Games, the men's 30-kilometer event was contested in the classical style.

Women's 30km classical

This is a 30-kilometer race in which only classical-style skiing is permitted. At the 1998 Winter Games, the women's 30-kilometer event was contested freestyle.

Men's 50km classical

This is a 50-kilometer race in which only classical-style skiing is permitted. At the 1998 Winter Games, the women's 30-kilometer event was contested freestyle.

Women's 4x5km relay

For this event, each team is composed of four skiers, each of whom skis one of the four 5-kilometer relay legs. The first two legs of the relay are classical style. The final two are freestyle.

The women's relay event was first contested at the 1956 Cortina d'Ampezzo Winter Games.

Men's 4x10km relay

For this event, each team is composed of four skiers, each of whom skis one of the four 10-kilometer relay legs. The first two legs of the relay are classical style. The final two are freestyle.

The men's relay event was first contested at the 1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Games.

TWITTER FEEDS
©2014 The Sports Network. All Rights Reserved. home | terms of use | privacy policy | comments