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Cross Country Skiing at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games

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Sports:

Host City: Vancouver, Canada
Date Started: February 15, 2010
Date Finished: February 15, 2010
Events: 12

Participants: 292 (163 men and 129 women) from 55 countries
Youngest Participant: SLO Anja Eržen (17 years, 116 days)
Oldest Participant: NEP Dachhiri Sherpa (40 years, 105 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): NOR Marit Bjørgen (5 medals)
Most Medals (Country): NOR Norway (9 medals)

Overview

All the 2010 cross-country events were held at Whistler Olympic Park, which served ably. There was plenty of snow, unlike nearer Vancouver, and especially at Cypress Mountain, where freestyle and snowboarding were held. The program was essentially the same as in 2006 – there was a short-distance and marathon-type race for men and women, a sprint, a team sprint, a pursuit, and a relay. The pursuit was the same as in 2006 but had been changed in 2002, however, and really was not much of a pursuit at all. The skiers all started at the same time, skiing a classical leg, followed by a pit stop to change to shorter skis, and then finishing with a freestyle leg. The short-distance races were both freestyle, at 10 km for women and 15 km for men, while the marathons were skied classically, at 30 km for women and 50 km for men.

After their poor showing at the 2006 Torino Games, the pressure was on Norway to deliver medals this time, and they did not disappoint, winning five golds, two silvers and two bronzes to be the leading nation. Marit Bjørgen (NOR) was the star of the women, taking three gold medals, two of which were in team events, and just missing out on a fourth to Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) by the length of a ski boot in the 30 kilometres event. For Kowalczyk, this completed her set of gold, silver and bronze medals from these Games. Petter Northug (NOR) had been bitterly disappointed not to have been selected for his country in 2006, and made up for it in Vancouver, winning two golds a silver and a bronze in his events, including a victory in a sprint finish of the 50 km, although his first two finishes were disappointments; however, he rebounded to win his four medals. The medals were shared between 11 European nations, with Sweden maintaining their form from 2006, having spent many years in the doldrums before that.

Medalists