Definitions

Cross country

cross-country skiing

Skiing in open country over rolling, hilly terrain. It originated in Scandinavia as a means of travel as well as recreation. The skies used are longer, narrower, and lighter than those used in Alpine skiing, and bindings allow more heel movement. The standard lengths of international races range from 10 to 50 km (6.2–31 mi) for men and 5 to 30 km (3.1–18.6 mi) for women. It has been included on the Olympics program since the first Winter Olympics in 1924.

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Long-distance running over open country. It developed as a competitive event in the mid-19th century. Though originally included in the revived Olympics, it was dropped after 1924 as not suitable for summer competition (most cross-country races are held in the fall or early winter). The first international women's competition was held in 1967. Standard distances are 12,000 m (7.5 mi) for men, and 2,000–5,000 m (1.25–3 mi) for women. Though rules for championship competitions have been established, world records are not kept because of the varying difficulty of courses.

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