Cross country skiing at the Winter Olympics 2014 Odds
The 2013 winter season is coming to an end and the next several months all athletes are going to spend preparing for the most important event in their career: Winter Olympics. This edition will take place in Sochi, Russia and that will be the 22nd Olympic games. There are many sports that will be interesting to follow as winter sports often require much preparation and several factors might affect the athletes performance. In this article we will focus on Cross-country skiing, one of the most exhausting winter sports and one of the most exhausting sports in all. Cross-country is part of the Olympic calendar from the early beginnings and the competition spreads in several separate events. We will name the bookmakers favorites for some of them.
Dario Cologna from Switzerland is the reigning champion and the current Olympic gold medalist from Vancouver in 15km discipline. Dario won the 2010 gold with not much problems, overcoming challenges from Italian Pietro Cottrer and Czech Lukaš Bauer. It seems that Cologna is still the main favorite for the gold medal, but the challenge will come from two other very promising athletes. Alexey Poltoranin from Kazakhstan is one of the promising cross-country skier and has already participated in Vancouver, finishing fifth in two disciplines. He won two bronze medals at the recently over World cup and will surely be a threat to Cologna. After running out of luck in the 2010 Olympics, Russian cross-country skier Alexander Legkov hopes for his first medal in the winter Olympics and with the home crowd behind, he might actually have a real chance.
4x10km relay race is probably one of the most exhausting team events there and features one team with four different skiers. The 2010 Olympic edition of this event was dominated by Scandinavian countries, as both Norway and Sweden took the medal, with the later winning the gold. Czech Republic claimed the bronze. For the 2014 games, we have slightly different predictions from the bookmakers as Norway seem to be the no.1 favorite for the gold medal. Carried by the home crowd and a well-known field, Russia are also considered for a medal fight and with the current champions Sweden, they are the biggest favorites for the gold medal at the cross-country 4x10 relay race.
Compared to 50km freestyle cross-country, the 15km classic race looks like a game. The real condition and stamina test is present in this event, as the 50km race can easily be matched with the summer Olympics marathon event. The 50km freestyle is also one of the oldest disciplines and has been part of every Olympic games so far. Petter Northug from Norway is the reigning gold medalist and is the main favorite to retain his title next year. He did not just won the golden medal, he is a very versatile athlete and has won numerous other accolades, including a medal at all four cross-country events. This is probably the easiest event to predict, as both Dario Cologna and Alexander Legkov don’t have a very good chance of surpassing him at the top.
Cross-Country skiing was never really a popular sport, mostly due to its monotony and the lack of excitement watching it. But the effort all athletes put is really admirable and they deserve every bit of respect they could get for participating in this sport.