It takes some serious strength to be able to compete in a sport like cross-country skiing. In addition to needing proper movement and coordination like every other skier and snowboarder soaring down an icy mountain, cross-country skiing requires an additional component: an explosion of power.
The sport is a form of skiing where athletes rely on their own locomotion and lower-leg strength to accelerate across a snow-covered terrain. There are no ski lifts, no conveyor belts and minimal hill inclines.
Interestingly enough, though the sport is most often used now for competition and recreational activities, some still use it as a form of transportation in areas where snowy aisles are more prevalent than roads.
But of course, where we get to see the ultimate cross-country skiing showdown, is every four years at the Winter Olympics.
Here is how you can watch all the cross-country ski action at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, along with streaming info and athletes to watch:
What is the schedule for cross-country skiing at the 2022 Winter Olympics?
Cross-country skiing will take place from Feb. 5-20.
Below is the full event and streaming information for each day of competition for cross-country skiing.
|🏅 Women’s Skiathlon||USA | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com|
|🏅 Men’s Skiathlon||USA | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com|
|🏅 M/W Individual Sprint (Freestyle)||USA | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com|
|🏅 Women’s 10km (Classical)||USA | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com|
|🏅 Men’s 15km (Classical)||USA | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com|
|🏅 Women’s 4x5km Relay||USA | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com|
|🏅 Men’s 4x10km Relay||USA | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com|
|🏅 M/W Team Sprint (Classical)||USA* | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com|
|🏅 Men’s 50km (Freestyle)||USA | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com|
|🏅 Women’s 30km (Freestyle)||USA | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com|
With 296 athletes total (148 men, 148 women), there will be 12 competition events and 36 medals awarded.
The women’s Skiathlon (classical/freestyle) will be held on Feb. 5 and the men’s Skiathlon (classical/freestyle) will be on Feb. 6.
The men’s and women’s qualifying and finals races for the individual Sprint Free will take place on Feb. 8. The women’s 10 km. Classical will be on Feb. 10 and the men’s 15 km. Classical will be on Feb. 11.
The women’s 4 x 5 km. relay (classical/freestyle) will be on Feb. 12 and the men’s 4 x 10 km. relay (classical/freestyle) will be on Feb. 13.
The men’s and women’s Team Sprint Classical semifinals and finals will be on Feb. 16.
And finally, the men’s 50 km. Freestyle will be on Feb. 19 and the women’s 30 km. Freestyle will be on Feb. 20.
How can I watch Olympic skiing in Beijing?
Snowboarding, freestyle skiing, ski jumping, Nordic combined and biathlon will take place at the National Cross-Country Center in the Zhangjiakou Cluster.
Skiing competition will be available to watch on TV on the USA Network and available to stream on Peacock.
How does cross-country skiing work?
Though alpine or downhill might be the immediate thought that comes to mind when referencing skiing, cross-country skiing is actually the closest to the original form of skiing, which alpine and ski jumping derived from.
Skiers compete in individual races and relays along icy tracks usually ranging from 10 km. to 15 km. long. To glide, skiers propel themselves in both forward and side-to-side motions, known as classic style and skate skiing, respectively. Athletes use ski poles to assist in their onward treks.
The sport falls into the nordic category and includes several distinctive competitions at the Winter Olympic Games.
- First, there are the women’s and men’s skiathlon (women ride 15 km. and men ride 30 km. total) where about 60 competitors race for the best time.
- Then athletes compete in sprint events, both freestyle and classic, where men race 1.4 km. and women race 1.2 km. in free and 15 km. and 10 km. in classic.
- Then comes the men’s and women’s relays: both consist of teams of four, men travel 10 km. each (totaling 40 km.) and women travel 5 km. each (totaling 20 km.).
- Men’s and women’s team sprint in classic style is next. The teams contain 2 players each and undergo 3 exchanges as they complete 6 laps total.
- And finally, there is men’s 50 km. mass start in freestyle and women’s 30 km. mass start in freestyle. In the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, 69 men and 47 women competed in the mass start free.
Who is competing in cross-country skiing for Team USA at the 2022 Winter Olympics?
The current roster for Team USA Cross-Country Skiing is as follows:
- Scott Patterson
- JC Schoonmaker
- Gus Schumacher
- Kevin Bolger
- Ben Ogden
- Luke Jager
- Rosie Brennan
- Jessica Diggins
- Julia Kern
- Caitlin Patterson
- Hannah Halvorsen
- Sophia Laukli
- Hailey Swirbul
- Novie McCabe
Who is the best U.S. skier competing at the 2022 Winter Olympics?
Jessica Diggins is definitely the one to watch out for on Team USA. The two-time Olympian earned her first gold medal in the women’s team sprint class final at the PyeongChang 2018 Games.
Her remarkable finish in the finals earned her the gold, as she went head-to-head with Stina Nilsson of Sweden in the last stretch of the sixth lap. It was the cherry on top to an amazing Winter Olympic performance as Diggins, along with teammate Kikkan Randall, secured the U.S. their very first gold medal in cross-country skiing.
Diggins is the first American to win the FIS Tour de Ski and the first American woman to win two titles at the World Cup.
She is definitely going to give Sweden and Norway a run for their money again this year!
Who are the best cross-country skiers at the 2022 Winter Olympics?
Based on the 2021 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, it is evident that Norway is going to set out for their spot on the podium this year in Beijing.
Here are some competitors to look out for this year:
- Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo of Norway is a triple Olympic medalist, winning three golds (in sprint, 4 x 10 km. relay, and team sprint) at his first Olympic appearance during the 2018 PyeongChang Games. He also won nine world cup titles and seven World Championship medals: six gold and one bronze. At 25, he is the youngest male in history to win the FIS Cross-Country World Cup, the Tour de Ski, a World Champion event, and an Olympic competition.
- Simen Hegstad Kruger, also from Norway, is a returning Olympian who won a gold alongside Klaebo in the PyeongChang 2018 Games during the men’s 4 x 10 km. relay. He also won a gold in the men’s 30 km. skiathlon and the silver in the men’s 15 km. freestyle.
- Norway’s Therese Johaug is a triple Olympic medalist after winning gold in the 4 x 5 km. relay in Vancouver 2010, silver in the 30 km. mass start in Sochi 2014 and bronze in the 10 km. in Sochi 2014. She also has 19 World Championship medals, 14 of those being gold.
- Charlotte Kalla of Sweden won four medals at the 2018 Games, one of those medals being gold in the 15 km. skiathlon. She is officially Sweden’s most successful female cross-country skier in history.
- Jonna Sundling of Sweden won the sprint and team sprint competitions at the 2021 World Championships, and will be rallying alongside Kalla to bring Sweden to the podium.
- Kikkan Randall of Team USA, alongside her teammate Jessica Diggins, won the US their first gold in cross-country skiing after finishing first during the women’s team sprint class final in PyeongChang.
- Jessica Diggins, Team USA, won the US their first gold with teammate Randall (as stated above). She is also the first American to win the FIS Tour de Ski and the very first American woman to win two titles at the World Cup.
Who received the most medals at the 2018 Winter Olympics?
Norway finished with 14 medals total: seven gold, four silver and three bronze. Sweden received six medals total: two gold, three silver and one bronze.
Finland, Switzerland and the U.S. all received one gold medal.
The Olympic Athletes from Russia received eight medals total, however a majority were bronze and the rest were silver.
What was the biggest highlight at the PyeongChang 2018 Games?
Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall of Team USA won the gold for the women’s team sprint class final at the PyeongChang 2018 Games. This was the first gold medal for the U.S. in cross-country skiing.
Team USA charged forward and landed in first place upon the first lap. However, by the first hill, Norway took the lead. It was an intense battle as first place fluctuated between Sweden, Norway and the U.S. By the time lap six came around, it came down to only Maiken Caspersen Falla of Norway, Jessie Diggins of the US and Stina Nilsson of Sweden. Nilsson pulled forward again but Team USA would not yield. At this point Norway was finished, but Diggins soared head-to-head with Nilsson in the last stretch, just barely pulling past and winning Team USA the gold.
Check out the epic win here:
What country has the most medals in cross-country skiing?
Norway tops the list with the most Olympic medals with a total of 121 medals: 47 gold, 42 silver, and 32 bronze. Sweden comes in second at 80 medals total: 31 gold, 25 silver, and 24 bronze. And then we have Finland with 80 medals (a majority of those being bronze), the Soviet Union with 68 medals, Italy with 35 medals, and Russia with 33 medals. Germany has 15 medals and all other nations have less than 10 total.
The U.S. won their first gold medal in the PyeongChang 2018 Games during the women’s team sprint class final.
The Olympic Athletes of Russia, Czechoslovakia, France, Slovenia, and Bulgaria have yet to win gold.