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Cross Country Skiing at the 1956 Cortina d'Ampezzo Winter Games

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Host City: Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
Date Started: January 27, 1956
Date Finished: January 27, 1956
Events: 6

Participants: 150 (109 men and 41 women) from 20 countries
Youngest Participant: YUG Amalija Belaj (16 years, 218 days)
Oldest Participant: AUT Karl Rafreider (38 years, 335 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): SWE Sixten Jernberg (4 medals)
Most Medals (Country): URS Soviet Union (7 medals)


There were several changes to the cross-country program in 1956. The men now skied four events, adding a 30 km race to the short distance and marathon races, along with the relay. The 30 km had only been contested at the World Championships in 1926, and then again in 1954. One other minor change occurred when the 18 km was changed to a 15 km race. At the World Championships, 18 km had been the standard distance since 1925, with the exception of 1929 and 1930, when they raced 17 km, but in 1954 the distance was changed to 15 km, and it would remain at that distance for several Worlds and Winter Olympics. The women’s program was also enlarged, adding a 3 x 5 km relay to the 10 km individual race. Women had first raced a relay at the 1954 World Championships, which was the first Worlds at which women competed. The Soviet Union also made its début at the Winter Olympics in 1956, and was the leading nation in cross-country, winning two gold medals and seven medals total, the most overall medals.