Nordic skiing, also referred to as cross-country skiing, is the oldest type of skiing. Skis have been used for thousands of years as a method of transportation over the snow. The Norwegian military were the first to hold ski competitions in the 1700s, which laid the groundwork for modern races today.
The sport has been part of the Olympic program since the first Winter Games that took place in 1924 in Chamonix, France. Nordic skiing events include cross-country races, ski-jumping events and the Nordic combined, which includes a combination of the two. The two most popular styles of skiing are classic and skate, the latter of which is a technique that became popular after American Bill Koch used it to win in the 1982 Cross-country Skiing Championships.
Women’s events were first added to the Olympic program at the 1952 Winter Olympics.
Paralympic cross-country skiing incorporates the use of standing, sitting and other events for athletes with disabilities. The sport has been contested at the Winter Paralympic Games since the first games in 1976.