U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing


Kendall Gretsch competing at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympic Games.

About Para Nordic Skiing

Paralympic Nordic skiing includes both cross-country skiing events and the biathlon discipline. Cross-country races range from 800m head-to-head sprints to 20km, depending on class and gender. Biathlon combines elements of cross-country skiing and rifle marksmanship. Athletes ski three or five loops, stopping after each loop to shoot at five targets (10 or 20 targets total, depending on the race format). For each missed shot, the athlete either skis a 100-150 meter penalty lap or has one minute added to their final time for each missed shot.
 
Paralympic Nordic skiing competition is open to male and female athletes with physical disabilities such as amputation/limb loss, blindness/visual impairment, spinal cord injury/wheelchair-users and cerebral palsy/brain injury/stroke.

 

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING
Cross-country skiing first appeared at the 1976 Winter Paralympic Games in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. The competition is open to athletes with a physical impairment and blindness/vision impairment. Men and women used the classical technique in all cross-country distances until skating was introduced by athletes at the Innsbruck 1984 Paralympic Winter Games. Since then, events have been split into two separate races: classical and free technique. The new technique, however, was not officially used in a medal race until 1992 in Albertville, France.

Depending on functional impairment, a competitor may use a sit-ski, a seat and frame mounted to skis through a binding system. 

Athletes with vision impairment compete in with sighted guides.

Male and female athletes compete in short distance, middle distance and long distance (ranging from 800m to 20km).

Cross-country skiing is governed by the IPC with coordination by the World Para Nordic Skiing Technical Committee following modified rules of the International Ski Federation (FIS) and is practiced by athletes in 24 countries.

 

BIATHLON
Biathlon was introduced in Innsbruck in 1988 for athletes with a physical impairment, and in 1992, athletes with a vision impairment also became eligible to compete. The events consist of a 2.0 or 2.5 km course skied three or five times in the free technique for a total race distance between 6-15 km. Between the two stages athletes must hit two targets located at a distance of 10m. Each miss is penalized by an increase in the overall route time. The most important success factor lies in the capability of alternating the skills of physical endurance and shooting accuracy during the competition.

Athletes with vision impairment are assisted by acoustic signals, which depending on signal intensity, indicate when the athlete is on target.

The sport is governed by the IPC with coordination by the World Para Nordic Skiing Technical Committee following the modified rules of the International Biathlon Union (IBU).
 
Paralympic Winter Games Host Cities
1976 - Örnsköldsvik, Sweden
1980 - Geilo, Norway
1984 - Innsbruck, Austria
1988 - Innsbruck, Austria
1992 - Tignes - Albertville, France
1994 - Lillehammer, Norway
1998 - Nagano, Japan
2002 - Salt Lake City, United States
2006 - Turin, Italy
2010 - Vancouver, Canada
2014 - Sochi, Russia
2018 - Pyeongchang, South Korea
2022 - Beijing, China
2026 - Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
 
Paralympic Winter Games Sports
Alpine Skiing
Nordic Skiing (Biathlon and Cross-country skiing)
Sled Hockey
Snowboarding
Wheelchair Curling
 
Team USA Total Medals by Paralympic Winter Games
Year - Host City - Total Medals - Gold, Silver, Bronze
2022 - Beijing, China - 20 - 6 gold, 11 silver, 3 bronze
2018 - Pyeongchang, South Korea - 36 - 13 gold, 15 silver, 8 bronze
2014 - Sochi, Russia - 18 - 2 gold, 7 silver, 9 bronze
2010 - Vancouver, Canada - 13 - 4 gold, 5 silver, 4 bronze
2006 - Turin, Italy - 12 - 7 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze
2002 - Salt Lake City, United States - 43 - 10 gold, 22 silver, 11 bronze
1998 - Nagano, Japan - 34 - 13 gold, 8 silver, 13 bronze
1994 - Lillehammer, Norway - 43 - 24 gold, 12 silver, 7 bronze
1992 - Tignes - Albertville, France - 45 - 20 gold, 16 silver, 9 bronze
1988 - Innsbruck, Austria - 30 - 7 gold, 17 silver, 6 bronze
1984 - Innsbruck, Austria - 35 - 7 gold, 14 silver, 14 bronze
1980 - Geilo, Norway - 6 - 4 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze
1976 - Örnsköldsvik, Sweden - 0
 
Team USA Total Nordic Skiing Medals by Games
Year - Host City - Total Medals - Gold, Silver, Bronze
2022 - Beijing, China - 14 - 4 gold, 8 silver, 2 bronze
2018 - Pyeongchang, South Korea - 16 - 6 gold, 7 silver, 3 bronze
2014 - Sochi, Russia - 3 - 2 silver, 1 bronze
2010 - Vancouver, Canada - 1 - 1 bronze*
2006 - Turin, Italy - 3 - 2 gold, 1 bronze
2002 - Salt Lake City, United States - 5 - 5 silver
1998 - Nagano, Japan - 2 - 2 bronze
1994 - Lillehammer, Norway - 4 - 3 silver, 1 bronze
1992 - Tignes - Albertville, France - 3 - 2 gold, 1 bronze
1988 - Innsbruck, Austria - 2 - 1 gold, 1 bronze**
1984 - Innsbruck, Austria - 1 - 1 silver
1980 - Geilo, Norway - 0
1976 - Örnsköldsvik, Sweden - 0

* First Team USA biathlon medal
** Biathlon added at Innsbruck 1988 Paralympic Winter Games