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2010 Vancouver Olympics Nordic Event Descriptions

Here is a description of the Nordic races occurring during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.


The term biathlon means joining of two contests; rifle shooting and cross country skiing. There are five total events for men and women. When shooting standing, athletes aim at a 4.5 inch target, when prone they aim at a 1.8 inch target.


  • Men ski 12.4 miles, women ski 9.3 miles
  • One minute penalty is assessed for each missed target
  • Athletes ski around course a total of five times and will stop at four shooting stations (two standing, two prone)


  • Men ski 6.2 miles, women ski 4.7 miles
  • Atheltes ski course three times and shoot twice (once standing, once prone)
  • Penalty loop for missed shots


  • Men ski 7.8 miles, women ski 6.2
  • Athletes ski five loops and shoot four times
  • Penalty loop for missed shots
  • Atheltes must place in top sixty in Sprint to compete

Mass Start

  • Men ski 9.3 miles, women ski 7.8 miles
  • First debuted in 2006 Games
  • Athletes ski five loops and shoot four times
  • Penalty loop for missed shots


  • Teams of four
  • Men ski 4.7 miles , women ski 3.7 miles
  • Only two shooting stations

Nordic Combined

Nordic combined was introduced in the 1924 Olympics but the team competition was not introduced till the 1988 Olympics. It combines ski jumping and cross country skiing and only men compete.

Individual NH

  • 10km normal hill
  • 6.2 mile skate

Individual LH

  • 10km large hill
  • 6.2 skate

Team LH

  • 4 x 5km
  • Each member jumps long jump and skis 3.1 miles

Cross Country


  • Men ski 9.3 miles, women ski 6.2 miles
  • In Vancouver, athletes will only ski freestyle (skate)
  • Staggered start

Individual Sprint

  • Men ski 0.9 miles, women ski 0.7 miles
  • Staggered Start
  • Must qualify through qualifying rounds


  • Men ski 9.3 miles classic and then 9.3 miles free
  • Women ski 4.7 miles classic then 4.7 miles free
  • Athletes must change out skis at the halfway point from classic to skate

Mass Start

  • Men freestyle 31 miles, women freestyle 19 miles
  • Introduced in 1992 Olympics

Cross Country Relay

  • Men ski 4x10km, women ski 4x5km
  • Men's relay was introduced in 1936, women's in 1956
  • Mass start
  • Ski a lap and exchange
  • First two laps are classic, last two are freestyle

Team Sprint

  • Only two skiers



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