Para cross-country skiing first appeared at the 1976 Paralympic Winter Games in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. It is one of two Para Nordic sports (the other being Para biathlon).

The competition is open to athletes with a physical or visual impairment. Depending on functional impairment, competitors may use a sit-ski, a chair equipped with a pair of skis. Athletes with visual impairment compete in the event with a sighted guide.

Male and female Para athletes compete in short distance, middle distance and long distance events ranging from 2.5km to 20km using classical or free techniques. There is also a team relay event. Cross-country skiing follows modified rules of the International Ski Federation (FIS) and is practiced by Para athletes in 24 countries.

At the Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, 155 Para athletes from 30 countries competed in 20 different medal events.

For more information on Cross-Country Skiing visit International Paralympic Committee Nordic Skiing.

Adaptive Snow Sports Programmes are currently offered at most New Zealand ski resorts, with opportunities to progress to the international level. Register your interest now!