Cross Country Canada


Cross-country is a sport where participants must propel themselves across snow-covered terrain using poles and skis with a free heel binding. Like alpine ski racing, the concept is simple: fastest man or woman wins the race. But there are no chairlifts or rope tows here. Technique, power, fitness and efficiency are the name of the game. Cross-country skiing is arguably the most difficult of all the endurance sports, as its motions use every major muscle group and require enormous levels of strength and stamina. Cross-country skiers are known for having some of the highest VO2-max levels ever recorded, with Norwegian legend and 8-time Olympic champion Bjørn Dæhlie still holding the world record at 96 ml/kg/min.

This is no longer your grandfather’s cross-country skiing; gone are the days of knickers, bamboo poles and three-pin bindings. Modern XC competition has experienced a revolution resulting in greater audience appeal which began with the advent of the skate technique in the 1980s and was furthered with the addition of sprint events to international competition in 2002. Today more and more races are held in audience-friendly formats, such as mass start, sprint, relay and pursuit (a race that involves switching skis, poles and techniques halfway through the race). The modern events in which athletes compete in at the World Cup and Olympics are (distances presented in Female/Male format): 1 km Sprint, 2X1 km Team Sprint, 10 km/15 km Individual Start, 15 km/30 km Pursuit, 30 km/50 km Mass Start, and 4×5 km/4×10 km Relay.

National Sport Organization:


To develop and deliver programs designed to achieve international excellence in cross-country skiing.

To provide national programs for the continuous development of cross-country skiing from introductory experience to international excellence, for participants of all ages and abilities, fostering the principles of ethical conduct and fair play.

It takes a ski community to raise Olympic medallists.  Cross Country Canada will be that community by:

  • valuing and respecting all members, their roles, interests and aspirations;
  • tenaciously committing to the consistent achievement of excellence –  fulfilling dreams, creating heroes and inspiring national pride;
  • providing tools and resources for a seamless and progressive continuum of athlete development;
  • promoting broadly-based participation in the healthy outdoors lifestyle of our sport; and
  • demonstrating and advocating ethical conduct in all of our undertakings.

Cross Country, Para-Nordic

For further information