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Winter Olympics

Cross-Country Skiing Results

The Cross-country skiing events at the 2006 Winter Olympics feature 12 medal winning events which run from February 11, 2006 to 26 February 2006 at Pragelato in Turin.

Medal table by country

Position Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Sweden 3 0 2 5
2  Estonia 3 0 0 3
3  Russia 2 2 3 7
4  Italy 2 0 2 4
5  Czech Republic 1 2 0 3
6  Canada 1 1 0 2
7  Norway 0 3 1 4
8  Germany 0 2 1 3
9  France 0 1 0 1
10  Austria 0 0 1 1
10  Finland 0 0 1 1

Men's events

30km (15km + 15km) pursuit

The 30km pursuit was the first of the men's events, and was held on 12 February 2006, after the women's. The event began with a 15 km mass start in the classical style; the skiers then changed skis while the clock was still running, and proceed to complete the 15 km course once again, this time in free style. The pursuit in this format had been skied three times at the Nordic skiing World Championships, and the Frenchman Vincent Vittoz was the reigning World Champion. A pursuit event similar to this was skied at the 2002 Winter Olympics, where the gold was shared between Thomas Alsgaard (now retired) and Frode Estil, but the distance was 20 km, not 30.

The event opened dramatically as Estil fell at the start, causing a mass collision. Then the pack kept together almost until the end, with skiers continually trailing off as they could not keep up with the pace. Eventually, five men came in to the finishing straight together, after Anders Södergren of Sweden had tried to pull away on the final lap. However, Södergren could not keep up with the pace, and Russian Eugeni Dementiev pulled away to defeat the defending Olympic champion Estil and win Russia's first gold medal of the Games.

Medal Athlete Time
Gold  Yevgeny Dementiev (RUS) 1:17:00.8
Silver  Frode Estil (NOR) 1:17:01.4
Bronze  Pietro Piller Cottrer (ITA) 1:17:01.7

Team sprint, classical style

This competition will take place on 14 February, beginning at 10:40 local time. There will be two athletes on each team, and each NOC is entitled to one participating team. The athletes take turns at completing a 1.35 km course in the classical style, and will complete the course between three and six times each (the exact number has not been published – however, at the 2005 Nordic skiing World Championships, each skier completed three legs). There will be two semi-finals and a final, though how many teams compete in each semi-final and how many qualify for the final is not yet known. These events will be arranged with mass starts, and have never before appeared at the Olympics. Norway, with Tore Ruud Hofstad and Tor Arne Hetland, won the competition at the 2005 Nordic skiing World Championship, the only time it has been skied in the World Championship, but that was in free technique. The most recent team sprint event in classic technique was held in Canmore, Canada on 18 December 2004. Jens Arne Svartedal and Eldar Rønning won that race for Norway's first team [2]. No further team sprints will be held before the Olympics.

Medal Athlete Time
Gold  Sweden (Thobias Fredriksson, Björn Lind) 17:02.9
Silver  Norway (Jens Arne Svartedal, Tor Arne Hetland) 17:03.5
Bronze  Russia (Ivan Alypov, Vasili Rotchev) 17:05.2

15km Classical interval start

This event will take place in the classic style, and with interval start, the traditional method that has been used since 1924. Each skier will start with half a minute intervals, skiing the entire 15 km course, and the skier with the lowest time at the finish line wins. This event will start at 10:00 local time on 17 February 2006. Pietro Piller Cottrer won the event at the 2005 World Championship, though he did it in free style. The most recent World Champion at 15 km classical style was Axel Teichmann, in 2003, and defending Olympic champion is the Estonian Andrus Veerpalu, who won 15 km in the classical style at the 2002 Olympics. There have been two World Cup events in this competition: German Tobias Angerer won the first in November, while Vassili Rotchev of Russia won in Estonia in January. Another 15 km event in the classical style will be held before the Olympics, at Davos, Switzerland on 5 February 2006.

Medal Athlete Time
Gold  Andrus Veerpalu (EST) 38:01.3
Silver  LukᚠBauer (CZE) 38:15.8
Bronze  Tobias Angerer (GER) 38:20.5

4 × 10 km Relay

This event is scheduled to take place on 19 February. In the relay, each NOC selects four skiers in a particular order to compete for their team, and the skiers complete the 10 km course in that order. All the athletes who are to complete the first leg will start at the same time; however, once the first skier has completed the 10 km course, he immediately changes over with the next skier, who then completes the next leg of the relay.

The first two skiers ski in classical style, the last two in free style, and the team whose last skier completes the 10 km course first is the winning team. The last relay in the World Cup was held at Beitostølen, Norway on 20 November 2005, and Germany's team of Andreas Schlütter, Axel Teichmann, Jens Filbrich and Tobias Angerer won the competition. Defending World Champions are Norway, with Odd-Bjørn Hjelmeset, Frode Estil, Lars Berger and Tore Ruud Hofstad, and Norway are also Olympic champion, with Anders Aukland, Estil, Kristen Skjeldal and Thomas Alsgaard winning gold at the 2002 Olympics. At Nagano in 1998, the Norwegians beat the Italians by under one tenth of a second, and in 1994 at Lillehammer the Italians beat the Norwegians by less than one tenth of a second, in fact in the last three olympics the winning team beat the silver medalists by a cumulative time of just under one tenth of a second, so this match-up is considered extremely prestigious in both nations. One further relay event was held before the Olympics, at Val di Fiemme on 15 January 2006, which was won by an Italian team consisting of Giorgio di Centa, Valerio Checchi, Pietro Piller Cottrer and Cristian Zorzi. Four teams finished within 2.6 seconds of the Italian winners.

Medal Team Time
Gold  Italy (Fulvio Valbusa, Giorgio di Centa, Pietro Piller Cottrer, Cristian Zorzi) 1:43:45.7
Silver  Germany (Andreas Schlütter, Jens Filbrich, René Sommerfeldt, Tobias Angerer) 1:44:01.4
Bronze  Sweden (Mats Larsson, Johan Olsson, Anders Södergren, Mathias Fredriksson) 1:44:01.7

1.35 km Sprint

This event will take place on 22 February, and is scheduled to begin at 10:30 local time and last until approximately 14:20 local time (five minutes after the scheduled start of the final). The competitors begin with the qualification event, where each skier is let into the 1.35 km course at 15 second intervals, and they ski the course in free style. The 16 skiers with the lowest times qualify for the elimination heats, which will begin after a 90-minute break for the athletes. The 16 skiers are drawn into four quarter-finals based on their positions in the qualifying event, and the top two in each quarter-final, which is held as a mass start over the 1.35 km course, qualifies for the semi-final rounds. In the two semi-finals, with four skiers in each, there are two spots available for the A final. The eliminated skiers in the semi-finals will ski in the consolation round (B final) for the 5th to 8th places. Vassili Rotchev is defending World Champion at this event, but he won in the classical style. The last free style sprint at the World Championships was won by Thobias Fredriksson in 2003 [3], while Tor Arne Hetland is defending Olympic champion. Swede Björn Lind won the most recent World Cup event, at Nové Město na Moravě, Czech Republic on 30 December 2005, and there will be one more World Cup sprint in free style before the Olympics, at Davos, Switzerland on 4 February 2006.

Medal Athlete Time
Gold  Björn Lind (SWE) 2:26.5
Silver  Roddy Darragon (FRA) 2:27.1
Bronze  Thobias Fredriksson (SWE) 2:27.8

50 km Freestyle mass start

This is the final event of the Olympic games for the cross-country skiers, and takes place on 26 February, the day of the closing ceremony. The only other event to take place on this day is the Ice hockey final. The selected skiers will start in a pack (mass start) at 10:00 local time, and ski the 50 kilometre course in free style. The first skier to complete the course is the winner. The 50 km has only been skied once as a mass start event at the World Championships, in 2005, which Frode Estil of Norway won. However, that was in the classical style. The last 50 km in free style at a World Championship was in 2003, and Martin Koukal of the Czech Republic won that event. Mikhail Ivanov is defending Olympic champion on 50 km, but that event was held in classical technique with individual start. 50 kilometre mass starts have never been held in the World Cup, but the last 50 kilometre free style event (with individual start) in the World Cup was held on 28 February 2004 in Oslo, Norway and was won by Rene Sommerfeldt.

Medal Athlete Time
Gold  Giorgio Di Centa (ITA) 2:06:11.8
Silver  Eugeni Dementiev (RUS) 2:06:12.6
Bronze  Mikhail Botvinov (AUT) 2:06:12.7

Women's events

15 km (7.5km + 7.5km) pursuit

This event was held on February 12, the first cross-country event at the 2006 Olympics. For details on the competition format, see the men's 30 km pursuit, except that the women skied 7.5 km in the classical style and 7.5 km in the free style. Julia Tchepalova is the reigning World Champion in the event, while the Canadian Beckie Scott won the 10 km pursuit at the 2002 Olympics. However, neither were in the medals here; Kristina Šmigun and Kateřina Neumannová were neck-and-neck coming in to the stadium, but Šmigun was the quickest through the last straight and won by 1.9 seconds. Russia's Evgenia Medvedeva-Abruzova took bronze[1]

Medal Athlete Time
Gold  Kristina Šmigun (EST) 42.48.7
Silver  Kateřina Neumannová (CZE) 42:50.6
Bronze  Evgenia Medvedeva-Abruzova (RUS) 43:03.2

Team sprint, classical style

This event will be held on 14 February, the same day as the men's event, and just as in the sprint events the women's semi-finals and final immediately precede the men's semi-final and final. The event is scheduled to start at 10:00 local time. This event has been held once in the World Championship, but then as a free technique event, which Hilde Gjermundshaug Pedersen and Marit Bjørgen won for Norway. This event has never before been at the Olympics. The last classical style team sprint in the World Cup was held in Canmore on 18 December 2005 and won by Germany, with Manuela Henkel and Viola Bauer. No further World Cup team sprints are planned before the Olympics.

Medal Athlete Time
Gold  Sweden (Lina Andersson, Anna Dahlberg) 16:36.9
Silver  Canada (Sara Renner, Beckie Scott) 16:37.5
Bronze  Finland (Aino Kaisa Saarinen, Virpi Kuitunen) 16:39.2

10 km Classical interval start

This event was held on 16 February, and the rules are similar to those employed by the men's 15 km interval start. Defending World Champion at the 10 km event is Kateřina Neumannová – however, that was in the free style event, and a classical style 10 km in the World Championship has not been held since 1989. In the World Cup, however, there have been two events this season, both won by Norwegians: Marit Bjørgen won at Kuusamo, Finland in November, and Hilde Gjermundshaug Pedersen at Otepää, Estonia in January. Bente Skari won the Olympic gold in 2002, but will not defend her status, having retired after the 2003 World Championship. One week before the Olympics, the Swiss town of Davos will host the last 10 km before the World Cup.

Šmigun won her second gold of the Olympics, winning 21 seconds ahead of Marit Bjørgen, and two more Norwegians followed[2].

Medal Athlete Time
Gold  Kristina Šmigun (EST) 27.51.4
Silver  Marit Bjørgen (NOR) 28:12.7
Bronze  Hilde Gjermundshaug Pedersen (NOR) 28:14.0

1.1 km Sprint

This will be held on 22 February, the same day as the men's events, and the elimination stages of the women's sprint will be held just before the corresponding elimination stage of the men's sprint. The competition will be staged in a similar way to the men's event, however. Emilie Öhrstig is defending World Champion, but she won in the classical style, and the last free style sprint in the World Championships (in 2003) was won by Marit Bjørgen. Julia Tchepalova is defending Olympic champion. The most recent free style sprint event in the World Cup, however, was won by the Russian Alena Sidko at 30 December 2005.

On February 22, 2006, Canada's Chandra Crawford captured the gold medal in the 1.1-kilometre sprint in her Olympic debut. Teammate Beckie Scott finished fourth.

Medal Athlete Time
Gold  Chandra Crawford (CAN ) 2:12.3
Silver  Claudia Künzel (GER) 2:13.0
Bronze  Alena Sidko (RUS) 2:13.2

30 km Freestyle mass start

This event was held on 24 February, the last of the women's cross country events at the 2006 Olympics. The rules were similar to the men's 50 km free style, and once again there has been no 30 km free style mass starts in the World Championships nor in World Cups before.

Marit Bjørgen is defending World Champion, while the last 30 km free style (with individual start) in the World Cup was won by Julia Tchepalova on 28 February 2004 [4]. The event has never been held as a mass start at the Olympics, but the last 30 km (a classical individual start event) was won by Gabriella Paruzzi of Italy.

Veteran Kateřina Neumannová won her second medal at the Torino Olympics.

Newcommer Justyna Kowalczyk won the first ever Olympic medal in cross-country skiing for Poland, for either men or women.

Medal Athlete Time
Gold  Kateřina Neumannová (CZE) 1:22:25.4
Silver  Julia Tchepalova (RUS) 1:22:26.8
Bronze  Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) 1:22:27.5

4 × 5 km Relay

This event is scheduled for 18 February, starting at 9:45 local time. Except for the shorter distance, the relay is organised in exactly the same way as the men's relay. Vibeke Skofterud, Hilde Gjermundshaug Pedersen, Kristin Størmer Steira and Marit Bjørgen of Norway are defending World Champions [5], but finished third at the World Cup event in Val di Fiemme, where a team representing Finland won. Germany are defending Olympic champions, however, with Claudia Künzel, Manuela Henkel, Viola Bauer and Evi Sachenbacher.

Medal Athlete Time
Gold

 Russia (Natalia Baranova-Masolkina, Larisa Kurkina,

Julija Tchepalova, Evgenia Medvedeva-Abruzova)

54:47.7
Silver

 Germany (Stefanie Böhler, Viola Bauer,

Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle, Claudia Künzel)

54:57.7
Bronze

 Italy (Arianna Follis, Gabriella Paruzzi,

Antonella Confortola, Sabina Valbusa)

54:58.7

Qualification

An NOC may enter 28 qualified athletes over the Nordic skiing events with a maximum of 20 athletes for Cross-country disciplines. A maximum of four athletes may participate in a single individual event, and one team in each relay race.


2006 Winter Olympics medal count
Pos Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Germany 11 12 6 29
2  United States 9 9 7 25
3  Austria 9 7 7 23
4  Russia 8 6 8 22
5  Canada 7 10 7 24
6  Sweden 7 2 5 14
7  Korea 6 3 2 11
8  Switzerland 5 4 5 14
9  Italy 5 0 6 11
10  France 3 2 4 9
 Netherlands 3 2 4 9
12  Estonia 3 0 0 3
13  Norway 2 8 9 19
14  China 2 4 5 11
15  Czech Republic 1 2 1 4
16  Croatia 1 2 0 3
17  Australia 1 0 1 2
18  Japan 1 0 0 1
19  Finland 0 6 3 9
20  Poland 0 1 1 2
21  Belarus 0 1 0 1
 Bulgaria 0 1 0 1
 Great Britain 0 1 0 1
 Slovakia 0 1 0 1
25  Ukraine 0 0 2 2
26  Latvia 0 0 1 1
    84 84 84 252

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