Sports Summary

Para-cross country ski appeared for the first time at the 1976 Winter Games in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden and is open to athletes with a physical impairment and vision impairment.

Athletes compete standing or using a sit ski, depending on their requirements. All athletes with a vision impairment compete with a sighted guide. Male and female athletes compete in distances ranging from 2.5 kilometres to 20 kilometres and in relays.

For more information on Para-cross country ski Eligibility and How to Get Involved please see the Para-cross country skiing Information Sheet (PDF – 133KB) – updated November 2021.

Events & Disciplines

  • Freestyle – 5km and 2.5km
  • Classic – 5km, 10km, 15km and 20km
  • Relay – 3X2.5km and 1X3.75km+2X5km


Para-cross country ski is open to athletes with a physical or vision impairment. Athletes are required to submit medical reports and meet the minimum impairment criteria in order to compete. Eligibility is determined by trained Classifiers.

For more information on Eligible Impairments and Classification please see the Para-cross country skiing Information Sheet (PDF – 133KB) – updated November 2021.

Rules & Equipment


An athlete with a lower-body impairment uses a sledge, which is a specially built chair that can be attached to a pair of skis. The skis are almost identical to standard skis, although shorter, and are attached to the chair with a standard cross-country binding.


Made from fibreglass, classical skis are usually 25cm to 30cm taller than the height of a skier. They are light, weighing less than 0.45kg each; and narrow, with curved tips and a cambered midsection, which is thicker and arched. Free technique skis are about 10cm to 15 cm shorter for greater manoeuvrability. They are also nominally stiffer and have tips that curve less than classical technique skis. The underside of both types of skis has a groove down the centre to keep the ski straight when going downhill.