Cross-country skiing originated in Fennoscandian countries in prehistoric times. It was still widely practiced in the 19th century as a way of moving from place to place in winter.

As a sport, cross-country skiing is one of the most difficult endurance sports, as its motions use every major muscle group.

Modern cross-country ski competition is experiencing a revolution that is resulting in greater compatibility with audiences which began with the addition of the Sprint event to the World Cup and Olympic competitions in 2002.

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