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Cross Country Skiing at the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Games

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Sports:

Host City: Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
Date Started: February 9, 1984
Date Finished: February 9, 1984
Events: 8

Participants: 179 (114 men and 65 women) from 32 countries
Youngest Participant: YUG Andreja Smrekar (16 years, 195 days)
Oldest Participant: MGL Luvsandashiin Dorj (40 years, 217 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): FIN Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi-Hämäläinen and SWE Gunde Svan (4 medals)
Most Medals (Country): FIN Finland (8 medals)

Overview

In the late 1970s and early 80s some cross-country skiers had been experimenting with a new skiing technique by using skating strokes, often using only one leg. One of the pioneers of the new technique was the Finnish Marathon skier Pauli Siitonen, winner of the prestigious Vasaloppet in 1973. His style was often referred to as “Siitonen-Strokes”. Another pioneer was the American Bill Koch. When winning the bronze medal at the 30 km race in the 1982 World Championships, he used the skating technique all the way where the track made it possible. The FIS was reluctant to adopt the new style, and many coaches and skiers complained that the skiing tracks were destroyed due to the skating. To prevent incidents on the finishing stretch, the FIS decided before the 1984 Olympics that it was forbidden to use skating strokes in the last 200 m of each race. The tracks were laid out with double classical lanes, but a majority of the skiers used one-leg skating strokes on the section of the course where this was possible. A new event was added to the cross-country program for the 1984 Games, the 20 km race for women, which had been a World Championship event in 1978 and 1982.

Medalists