Paralympic Cross-Country Skiing

Learn about this Winter Paralympic sport

January 10, 2014


Cross-Country skiing first appeared at the 1976 Winter Paralympic Games in Sweden. The competition is open to athletes with a physical impairment or blindness/visual impairment. Events are split into two separate races depending on which technique is used: classic or freestyle.

Rules of the Game

Male and female athletes compete in individual or team relay events. There are events with short distances, middle distances and long distances ranging from 2.5 kilometers to 20 kilometers. The fastest finishers win medals. The team relay can be completed using classical or free cross-country skiing techniques. Depending on their impairment, athletes may use a sit-ski, which is a specially fitted chair over a single ski. Athletes with a visual impairment compete in the event with a sighted guide.

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