|Competitions held||181 (Venues)|
|IF||International Ski & Snowboard Federation|
Cross-country skiing has been practiced in the Scandinavian countries since the 18th century, and competitions are known from the early 19th century. The sport has been on the Olympic Program since the Chamonix Games of 1924. It has been dominated, not surprisingly, by the Scandinavian countries, with Norway leading, followed by Sweden, the Soviet Union, and Finland.
The most successful cross-country skier has been Norwegian Marit Bjørgen, with 15 medals and eight gold medals, both absolute Winter Olympic records (through 2022). In the women’s competition, she is followed by Russian Lyubov Yegorova, with six gold medals, and by Raisa Smetanina and Stefania Belmondo, both with 10 medals.
Norwegian Bjørn Dæhlie leads the men’s medal tables, with 12 medals and eight golds, followed by his compatriots Johannes Høsflot Klæbo and Thomas Alsgaard, both with five gold medals, and by Sixten Jernberg and Aleksandr Bolshunov, both with nine medals.
The sport is governed internationally by the Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS), which has 136 member nations as of 2022. The FIS also governs Alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, Nordic combined, ski jumping, and snowboarding.
Until the 1970s, all cross-country racers competed in the same style, alternating legs and arms with the stride being pushed straight backwards, remaining in the ski track. In the 1970s, a new style was developed by American Bill Koch, making a skating-like motion with one of the skis, and this technique turned out to be much faster. The FIS was pushed to ban this style by the North Europeans, but it was decided instead to allow two styles. However, races are now designated as either “classical” or “freestyle”, with skating being allowed only in freestyle races.
Originally, all cross-country races were held in a time trial fashion, with skiers starting in intervals. However, after revision of the program in the early 21st century, only one such race is left on the Olympic Program, the 15 km for men and the 10 km for women. The other individual events are: the sprint, in which four to six skiers race head-to-head in heats for approximately 1,500 metres; the skiathlon (formerly pursuit), in which half of the race is skied in classical style and half in freestyle; and the mass-start marathon, which is held over 50 km for men, and 30 km for women. In addition, two team competitions are staged for both men and women: the relay and the team sprint.
|Republic of Korea||KOR||2||1||0||3|
|People's Republic of China||CHN||0||1||0||1|
|Lyubov Yegorova|| RUS
|Larisa Lazutina|| RUS
|Johannes Høsflot Klæbo||NOR||5||1||1||7|
|Raisa Smetanina|| RUS
|Galina Kulakova|| RUS
|Anastasiya Sedova|| ROC
|Name||Gender||Still contested?||Times held?|
|30 kilometres Skiathlon||Men||5|
|4 × 10 kilometres Relay||Men||21|
|15 kilometres Skiathlon||Women||5|
|4 × 5 kilometres Relay||Women||13|
|10/10 kilometres Pursuit||Men||1|
|10/15 kilometres Pursuit||Men||3|
|5 kilometres, B1||Men||1|
|5/5 kilometres Pursuit||Women||1|
|5/10 kilometres Pursuit||Women||3|
|3 × 5 kilometres Relay||Women||5|
|5 kilometres, B1||Women||1|