How It Works
In short, cross-country skiing is the Winter Olympic equivalent to the marathon. Dozens of skiers slowly plod their way across miles of frozen terrain, attempting to outlast and out-will their competitors in pursuit of the medal podium. And it looks just as grueling as it seems.
Unsurprisingly, it’s a sport that Scandinavian nations have historically dominated, while the United States has not won an Olympic medal in the sport in 42 years. The sport features more rules than one might expect—racers must ski in a specific style based on the perameters today, including either classic in-line style or freestyle. Of course, racers cannot impede one another on the track.
All the cross-country skiing events are races, predicated on which athletes crosses the finishes first. That’s much easier said than done, since much of the result depends on how much energy racers have left in the tank to push for the finish line late in the race.
Olympic Cross Country Skiing Events
Cross-country skiing features a total of six disciplines, each with a men’s and women’s division, making it one of the busiest competitions in the games. Two of those disciplines have already awarded medals, but there’s still plenty of cross-country to watch on the NBC family of networks in the remainder of the Games.
Men’s and women’s freestyle
Skiers leave the starting gate in 30-second intervals, with the goal of achieving the fastest time through the designated track.
- Women’s 10 km: Feb. 15, 1:30 a.m. EST
- Men’s 15 km: Feb. 16, 1:00 a.m. EST (NBCSN)
Men’s and women’s relay
- Women’s 4 x 5 km relay: Feb. 17, 4:30 a.m. EST
- Men’s 4 x 10 km relay: Feb. 18, 1:15 a.m. EST
Men’s and women’s team sprint freestyle
- Women’s event: Feb. 21, 3:00 a.m. EST
- Men’s event: Feb. 21, 5:00 a.m. EST
Men’s and women’s mass start classical
These are the longest events in the Games, truly classified as the “marathons” of the sport. For reference, 50 kilometers is equivalent to about 31 miles, and 30 kilometers translates to just shy of 19 miles
- Men’s 50 km: Feb. 24, 12:00 a.m. EST (NBCSN)
- Women’s 30 km: Feb. 25, 1:15 a.m. EST (NBCSN)
Current Cross Country Skiing Medals Awarded
Medals have already been awarded in two disciplines—skiathlon and sprint classical. Here are the winners so far.
Men’s 30 km Skiathlon
- Gold: Simen Hegstad Krüger, Norway
- Silver: Martin Johnsrud Sundby, Norway
- Bronze: Hans Christer Holund, Norway
Women’s 15 km skiathlon:
- Gold: Charlotte Kalla, Sweden
- Silver: Marit Bjørgen, Norway
- Bronze: Krista Pärmäkoski, Finland
Men’s sprint classical:
- Gold: Johannes Høsflot Klæbo, Norway
- Silver: Federico Pellegrino, Italy
- Bronze: Alexander Bolshunov, Olympic Athletes from Russia
Women’s sprint classical:
- Gold: Stina Nilsson, Sweden
- Silver: Maiken Caspersen Falla, Norway
- Bronze: Yulia Belorukova, Olympic Athletes from Russia
How to Watch Olympic Cross Country Skiing
Obviously, most of the times listed for the cross-country skiing events are not conducive to most Americans’ television viewing schedules. However, NBC will air tape-delayed cross-country races to make it more possible to view the sport. The channels listed by the times above are only for full events shown live, as tape-delayed compilations often jump between events.
For Cord-Cutters, here’s a list of services that allow you to stream the Olympics directly to your TV. The 2018 Olympic Games are on NBC. Here are the streaming services that carry NBC:
For more details about these services and details about the Olympic Games, visit our main 2018 Winter Olympics page.