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Cross Country Skiing Competition Overview

Six CC Event for Men and Six for Women

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Cross Country Skiing Competition Overview

Kikkan Randall

copyright Getty Images

Cross Country Skiing Competition Overview
Six Events for Men and Six for Women

At the Vancouver 2010 Olympics the Cross Country events will be held at the Whistler Olympic Park. There are six scheduled Cross Country racing events for both men and women differing only in shorter racing for the women.

For both men and women there are 2 races based on the "classic" style and 3 on the "freestyle" style - and two races where both styles are required.

The Men Compete In:

  • Individual Sprint
  • 15K
  • 30K Pursuit
  • 50K Mass Start
  • 4x10K Relay

The Women Compete In:

  • Individual Sprint
  • 10K
  • 15K Pursuit
  • 30K Mass Start
  • 4x5K Relay

In Cross Country competition skiers race both head to head and against the clock. In the men's 15K and the women's 10K Individual, skied in freestyle, skiers are started at intervals over the same course and are racing for fastest time.

In the Individual Sprint, skied in classic form, a group of 30, determined by a timed qualification move into head-to-head competition in groups or "heats" eventually working down to top finishers in each heat competing for medals.

The Team Sprint - in classic form - is a ski and tap race where 2 skiers make a nation team and ski 3 loops each for first over the line. Then after semi-heats a final medal race determines podium places.

The Mass Start - in classic form - is what it is - a marathon on snow with the crowded start and all.

The Relay races - 4x15K for men and 4x10K for women - are skied 2 of 4 legs in classic and 2 in freestyle. 4 different racers from a nation make up a Team with 2 skiing classic and 2 skiing freestyle. From a mass start each racer taps off to his/her successor on the course and the first across the finish line on lap 4 is the winner.

The Pursuit is the most athletic event making the individual skier ski 1/2 the race in classic and 1/2 in freestyle. This is a mass start event and is great fun to watch.

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