Heidi Widmer of Canada (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Team Free Sprint
Mass Start Classic
Cross-country is the oldest type of skiing — in the snow-covered North, people would ski to hunt and gather firewood in the winter.
The word "ski" is Norwegian and comes from the old Norse word "skith," which means "stick of wood, snowshoe".
The Olympic competition trails are divided into Red and Blue courses. Athletes use different skiing techniques (classical or free technique) on the different trails.
Men have been competing in cross-country skiing at the Olympics since Chamonix 1924, but women didn't compete until Oslo 1952.
The Skiathlon is split in two parts with the first half using the classic ski technique and the second half using the skate ski technique. Women ski a total of 15 kilometres and men ski a total of 30 kilometres.
In the Relay event, four skiers each ski one fourth of the total distance: four women each ski five kilometres of a total 20 kilometres and four men each ski 10 kilometres of a total 40 kilometres.
All of Canada's Olympic medals for cross-country skiing have been won by women.