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Women's sprint relay 2018 Olympics Odds

Who will win women's sprint relay during the 2018 Olympics?

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Ladies sprint relay and the 2018 Winter Olympics

We're not far away from Pyeongchang 2018, or the 2018 Winter Olympics as it's more commonly called. And if you haven't already formed an opinion regarding probable winners. It might be time to consider forming one. While the event has commonly been dominated by the Nordic countries such as Sweden, Norway and Finland. These days the bets aren't so sure. Russia has been a great contender, and even countries that aren't usually associated with cross-country skiing, such as Italy, have been performing well. So old truths aren't necessary a good basis for placing your bets. But what's in store for the upcoming event?

Skate -- not just perseverance, but also lots of technique

There are two techniques applied in cross-country skiing. Namely classic and skate. While classic means having heel and toes fixed to the ski while alternating pushing each ski forward, skate has much more of a resemblance to traditional ice skating. And skate is also the fastest and most demanding style of skiing. It really does require a pro athlete to go through a full Olympic course applying skating technique. One should also remember that this technique is not fitting when it comes to rough terrain. That's why certain events require a combination of skating and classic method.

Beyond the solo event -- relay

While you usually bet on a single athlete in many of the events. Relay really turns the table on this kind of analysis. In team events, it doesn't really matter if a team has got one top athlete if all the others fail miserably. And relay truly is a team event. A teams total time is judged from the point the first skier begins, and the last skier finishes. The entire team is spread out through fixed points, where one athlete switches to another. That way all team members compete and become a part of the effort. All in all, these kind of events are much harder to predict since there are an amazing amount of variables to take into consideration. Not only past performance of the country in question, but also the health and stamina of certain individual key skiers.

Assuming that future performance can be seen through past scores

Interestingly enough, there have been a few countries that have had more or less fixed positions at the top. During the last Winter Olympics, in 2014, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia and Finland had top positions. And looking at the 2010 Winter Olympics, the same countries performed well but also with the inclusion of the Czech Republic, France and Finland. And these countries are generally the ones that are fixed at the top. Not only do they have a very long history of skiing, but their natural abundance of snow makes their training season by far longer than many other competing countries.

But in relay events. We are put in the unique position of not having to factor each and every aspect of all individual skiers. Instead we can look at the country as a whole. And that means that past performance actually becomes a valid indicator of future performance. So we can easily narrow our picks to some of the above mentioned countries. But keep in mind that Italy, Canada, The United States of America and a few other countries are up and coming when it comes to cross-country skiing. So it's not all together sure that old truths will apply in the future.