Host City: Sochi, Russia
Date Started: February 8, 2014
Date Finished: February 8, 2014
Participants: 298 (173 men and 125 women) from 54 countries
Youngest Participant: Marija Kolaroska (16 years, 146 days)
Oldest Participant: Gary di Silvestri (47 years, 12 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 3 athletes with 3 medals
Most Medals (Country): Sweden and Norway (11 medals)
The cross-country events took place at the Mountain Cluster at Krasnaya Polyana about 40 km north-east of the center of Sochi. The whole complex with the cross-country and biathlon stadium "Laura", a huge function building, traverses and trails cost around 1.2 billion euros, paid by the state company Gazprom. The events were progressively affected by the warm weather, as competitors with sleeveless shirts became a common sight during the second half of the Games. The program was basically unchanged but – as has become common since the introduction of separate freestyle and classical events – events that were held in the classical style in Vancouver were held in freestyle in Sochi and vice-versa, with the events that combine both styles (skiathlon and relay) unchanged.
Norway slightly improved on their medal count from Vancouver, winning 5 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze compared to 5-2-2 in Vancouver. Only the clean sweep in the ladies’ 30 km brought Norway level with their Swedish rivals with 11 medals each, but Norway leading by five golds to two. Norway’s [Marit Bjørgen] became the most decorated female in the Winter Olympics with 10 medals by winning 3 gold medals. While Norway dominated the ladies’ events, the men’s showing was relatively poor. With two gold medals in individual events, Swiss [Dario Cologna] was the star of the men’s events. If it had not been for a broken ski in the 50 km just 2 km from the finish line, he could have taken another medal, even another gold. Only the clean sweep in the last event saved the host nation Russia from a major disappointment in cross-country skiing. With only five medals, all in the men’s events, Russia could not improve their results from Vancouver. After the disaster for the Finnish men in Vancouver, they managed to win a gold medal in the men’s team sprint. In contrast, Germany was only outperformed by Norway and Sweden in Vancouver but won only a single bronze medal in Sochi, in the ladies’ relay. The medals were shared between nine European nations with France winning their first cross-country medal but formerly successful countries like Italy and the Czech Republic fell out of the medal standings.
During the Olympic Winter Games, Ukrainian Marina Malets-Lisohor had a positive drug test for the banned stimulant trimetazidine, which was added to the list of prohibited substances at the beginning of 2014. The Austrian skier Johannes Dürr tested positive for using the blood-boosting drug EPO prior to the Games, with the result released after he ran to eighth place in the skiathlon.