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Men's 4x10 mix relay 2018 Olympics Odds

Who will win men's 4x10 mix relay during the 2018 Olympics?

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The 2018 Winter Olympics and men's 4x10 mix relay

Mix relay is an exciting and straining event. Putting great importance on the ability to combine technique, team effort and all round athletic ability, it has become when of the true pinnacles in the world of cross-country skiing. With the 2018 Winter Olympics being just around the corner. It may be of interest to take a look at both this event in particular, and the world of cross-country skiing at large. This sport has grown from a Nordic past time to a world wide event and is now one of the most popular winter sports in the world.

Particularities of relay

Relay is, by definition, a team effort. This is somewhat unique in a world of sports that is becoming more and more focused on the individual. In looking at potential winners, we thus have to look beyond the current super star athlete and focus on countries performing as a team. In cross-country skiing relay, colors indicate individual athletes and points are represented by the time it takes for the last skier to finish counting from whenever the first skier started. And the track provides specific points where one team member switches the effort to a different team member. Working as a team is the only way to conquer the event.

Which countries are the top performers?

During the 2014 Winter Olympics. The five top countries were Sweden, Russia, France, Norway and Italy. And taking a further step back in time and looking at the 2010 Winter Olympics. The five top teams were Sweden, Norway, Czech Republic, France and Finland. Are we seeing a pattern? Sweden is an obvious contender. Having both amazing individual athletes and a great team spirit. But in recent years, Norway has overshadowed many other countries when it comes to providing top individual performers. So, it is far from a sure shot that Sweden will be keeping the throne. But all things counted, Sweden is as good a bet as any.

The importance of individual athletes

While 4x10 km mix relay is a team effort. We can't close our eyes to individual athletes. Russias Sergey Ustiugov has been making lots of headlines, not only for his performance but also for his aggressive style. Considering that Russia did not perform that well in relay during the 2014 Winter Olympics, aggressive skiing probably won't help the team effort. Norway on the other hand, has provided two top performers, namely Martin Johnsrud Sundby and Petter Northug. If we accept Sweden as one of the top contenders, Norway will sure be giving them a run for the money.

What does PyeongChang have in store for cross-country skiing in 2018?

Undeniably, cross-country skiing is about covering a vast landscape in the shortest time possible. And this puts great importance on technique, endurance and will. But every course has its peculiarities. The course during the 2018 Winter Olympics will be divided in three parts. Uphill, level and downhill. Here the athletes must apply proper technique in the proper context of the course. And picking the right technique for each part of the course will be one of the great challenges. Combining all this together is what is required in order to both prevail to the end and secure a good position. With all this in mind, we surely have lots to look forward to.