|08 FEB||Women in the Skiathlon 7,5 kilometres Classic at the Laura Ski & Biathlon Center
Women in the Skiathlon 7,5 kilometres Free at Laura Ski & Biathlon Center
|09 FEB||Men in the Skiathlon 15 kilometres Classic at the Laura Ski & Biathlon Center
Men in the Skiathlon 15 kilometres Free at the Laura Ski & Biathlon Center
|11 FEB||Men and Women in the Individual Sprint Free at the Laura Ski & Biathlon Center|
|13 FEB||Women in the 10 kilometres Classic at the Laura Ski & Biathlon Center|
|14 FEB||Men in the 15 kilometres Classic at the Laura Ski & Biathlon Center|
|15 FEB||Women in the Relay 4 X 5 kilometres at the Laura Ski & Biathlon Center|
|16 FEB||Men in the Realay 4 X 10 kilometres at the Laura Ski & Biathlon Center|
|19 FEB||Men and Women in the Team Sprint Classic at the Laura Ski & Biathlon Center|
|22 FEB||Women in the 30 kilometres Free Mass Start at the Laura Ski & Biathlon Center|
|23 FEB||Men in the 50 kilometres Free Mass Start at the Laura Ski & Biathlon Center|
Cross Country Skiing
At the first Olympic Winter Games of 1924, there were men's 18 kilometres and 50 kilometres races. At the 1952 Games in Oslo, women made their cross country debut. Other events and race formats have been added since the first appearance at the 1924 Olympic Games. The sport of Cross-Country Skiing underwent a change in 1988 in Calgary when the sport evolved to contain the new free technique events. Another innovation was the mass start, which saw all of the competitors starting at the same time instead of one by one. In Salt Lake City in 1922, the new Sprint event was also offered for the first time in the Olympic Games.
At the Olympic Winter Games, the cross-country skiing discipline comprises twelve different events. They include sprint, individual start, team sprint, pursuit, relay and mass start events.
The Individual Race is the traditional race format, where skiers compete against time. The competitors start the race at 30-second intervals in reverse order to ranking of the current season. The top ranked skier will start last in this format. The winner of the race is the skier with the fastest time. Individual coaches along the course time their athletes, calling out their rank at that specific point of the race. Skiers who are overtaken by faster competitors must step aside if necessary to allow the faster skier to pass like a blue flag in racing. In the Olympic Individual Race, men compete over a distance of 15 kilometres (in loops of 5 kilometres) while women race a ski 10 kilometres (in loops of 5 kilometres).
The Sprint Competition will consist of 30 skiers competing in elimination heats. In the elimination heats (quarterfinals and semi-finals) the skiers start side by side and race one time around a 1.6 kilometres loop. The two fastest skiers in each heat go forward onto the next round. For the 6th positions in the semi-final heats and for the 5th and 6th positions in the final heat, the next two fastest competitors who are ranked 3rd or 4thcalled "lucky losers" will advance. Six skiers compete in the medal round for the Olympic Games medals.
The Team Sprint Competition consists of teams of two skiers, skiing one at a time. The competitors tag their teammate upon completing a 1.5 kilometres leg. The two skiers alternate skiing one leg each, for a total of 6 legs. 10 teams qualify for the finals through qualification heats, and start in a mass start on the first leg.
The Pursuit Race is a mass start race where competitors ski the first half of the race using the classic technique, then switch to the free technique. The first skier to cross the finish line is the winner of the Pursuit race. The skiers are required to change skis at the halfway point. In the Pursuit race, men race 15 kilometres (in loops of 3.75 kilometres) using each technique (for a total distance of 30 kilometres), while women race 7.5 kilometres (in loops of 2.5 kilometres) for a total distance of 15 kilometres. The competition course is laid out in such a way that the skiers pass through the stadium several times.
Individual Mass Start Races are the longest individual races at the Olympic Games. In the Individual Mass Start Races, men race over a distance of 50 kilometres, while women ski a distance of 30 kilometres. The long-distance mass start events will line the whole field of skiers in rows of 7 to 11 skiers, starting a field of 60 to 80 competitors by the start. The adding of short loops allows spectators in the stadium to see the contestants every 10 to 12 minutes pass by. The first skier to finish is the winner.
The Relay race features teams of four skiers from each country competing in the event. The two first skiers on each team must use the classic technique while the last two must use the free technique. Skiers take turns competing, and tag their teammate in a zone at the end of leg of the relay race. The team that completes all four legs of the race the fastest is the winner. In the Relays, men race four 10 kilometres legs each, while women race four 5 kilometres legs.
Cross Country Skiing in Sochi
The Center includes stadium of 9,600 seats; courses for freestyle skiing and classic skiing and a warm-up zone.
This facility was set to be completed in 2012 for test competitions. After the Winter Games, Olympic cross-country courses will become part of the Biathlon and Cross-Country Skiing Center.
Innovative snow-making technology will be utilized by the Organizing Committee, thereby allowing the Games to be held in Sochi unique and slightly warm climatic conditions.