So What is Cross Country anyway?
The word “ski” is a Norwegian word, which comes from the Old Norse word “skid”, a split length of wood. With long distances between the small, isolated northern communities and hard, snowy winters, skiing became important as means of keeping in social contact. Norwegian army units held the first cross country skiing competitions in the 18th century. Skiing for sport appeared in Norway in the mid 19th century at the famous Holmenkollen ski festival, with the focus initially on the Nordic combined event – skiing and jumping. However, in 1901, a separate cross country race was added to the festival. Men’s cross country skiing debuted in the first winter Olympics in Chamonix, France in 1924 and the women’s event debuted at the 1952 Oslo Games.