What’s harder, cross-country skiing or cross-country running?

Arguably the toughest endurance sport at the Winter Olympics, let alone any sport, winter or summer, is cross-country skiing. Broadly, cross-country skiing includes a number of specific disciplines (or variations of) including the individual sprint, skiathlon, biathlon, freestyle, team sprint and relay, among others. Currently, the Winter Olympics are ongoing in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and will be until Feb. 25.

A LetsRun.com user started an online message board thread entitled, “cross-country skiers look worse than distance runners at the finish line. Is their sport harder?” which was the inspiration for this story. Many of the responses on that thread note that “yes,” cross-country skiing is harder, in effort, than running.

In both instances, the finish line scene is comparable with collapsed athletes left and right who left everything out on course. To compare the two sports, below are a selection of photos from various cross-country skiing events at the 2018 Winter Olympics as well as from the 2017 Canadian Cross-Country Championships from Kingston, Ont.

Embed from Getty Images

Olympic Cross-Country

Photo: Tim Huebsch.

Embed from Getty Images

Olympic Cross-Country

Photo: Tim Huebsch.

Embed from Getty Images

Olympic Cross-Country

Photo: Tim Huebsch.

Embed from Getty Images

Olympic Cross-Country

Photo: Tim Huebsch.

Embed from Getty Images

Olympic Cross-Country

Photo: Tim Huebsch.

Embed from Getty Images

Olympic Cross-Country

Photo: Tim Huebsch.

Embed from Getty Images


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