Elite Events

From Interschools to the Olympics

Cross Country Ski Racing can take you to many places, including the Winter Olympics. Stepping stones along the way include World Junior Championships, World University Games and World Cup. See this Interschools to the Olympics flyer for more details.

World University Winter Games

The World University Winter Games (WUWG) are held every two years. Athletes must be enrolled at university and be under the age of 27 to be eligible for selection. The WUWG provide just about the only opportunity outside of the Winter Olympics to compete at an elite international event together with other winter sport disciplines. The selection standard is challenging but achievable, similar to qualifying for the World Junior or U23 Championships.

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World Junior / U23 Championships Games

The FIS World Junior and U23 Championships (WJC and WU23C) are held every year, including sprint, distance and relay events. Athletes are eligible to compete in the WJC in the year that they turn 20 and in the WU23C in the year that they turn 23.

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Winter Youth Olympic Games

The Winter Youth Olympic Games (WYOG) were held for the first time in Innsbruck in 2012. The number of starters is limited and most nations can enter a maximum of one male and one female athlete. The next WYOG will be held in Lillehammer in 2016.

2016 WYOG Lillehammer

World Cup

The World Cup circuit takes place every year between November and March, featuring about 22-24 events each season throughout Europe and occasionally in North America and Asia.

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World Championship

The FIS Nordic World Championships (WSC) are held every two years. The event styles at the WSC and the OWG alternate from year to year, which means that the WSC event styles in years either side of the OWG are the same.

Lahti, Finland 2017


Cross country skiing first appeared at the 1976 Winter Paralympic Games in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. It is held directly after the Winter Olympic Games at the same venue. The competition is open to athletes with a physical impairment and blindness/visual impairment. Athletes compete in short distance, middle distance and long distance (ranging from 2.5km to 20km) or participate in a team relay using classical or free techniques.

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Winter Olympic Games

The Olympic Winter Games (OWG) are held every four years. The next OWG will be in Pyeongchang in Korea in 2018. There are 12 cross country skiing medal events at the OWG, six for each gender.

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