Sport disciplines

Cross-country Skiing

Description

Cross-country skiing is the oldest type of skiing. It emerged from a need to travel over snow-covered terrain and developed as a sport at the end of the 19th century.

Curiosities

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING

NORWEGIAN ORIGINS

For centuries, skis were used in northern European countries to hunt and gather firewood in the winter. With long distances between small, isolated communities and harsh, snowy winters, skiing became important as a means of maintaining social contact. The word "ski" is a word that goes back to the Old Norse "skid," which meant "long piece of wood".

FIRST COMPETITION

Norwegian army units were skiing for sport (and prizes) in the 18th century. Skiing for sport appeared in Norway in the mid-19th century; the first race on record is 1842. The famous Holmenkollen Ski Festival started in 1892, with the focus initially on the Nordic combined event. However, in 1901, a separate cross-country race was added to the festival.

SCANDINAVIAN DOMINANCE

The men’s event debuted at the first Winter Olympic Games in Chamonix in 1924. The women’s event debuted at the 1952 Oslo Games. The Nordic countries have traditionally dominated the sport.

CROSS-COUNTRY RACES

There are 12 different cross-country races: Women compete in a sprint, team sprint, 10 km individual start, 15 km pursuit, 30 km mass start, and a 4 x 5 km relay. Men compete in a sprint, team sprint, 15 km individual start, 30 km pursuit, 50 km mass start, and a 4 x 10 km relay.