Winter Olympics 2014: Your guide to Cross-country skiing

8-23 Feb at Laura Centre

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The Independent Online

What is it? The oldest type of skiing. A dozen golds to be won as athletes compete over distances from 1500m to 50km in two styles, classical – skis parallel – and freestyle – skis in a V-shape.

What do I need to know? The toughest event. Andrew Musgrave, the leading Briton, describes the utter exhaustion at the finish line after completing a sprint – flat out for 1500m with just the toe end of the boot clipped into the ski.

Tell me something I don't know Bjorn Daehlie is the most decorated Winter Olympian with eight gold and four silver medals.

GB chances Musgrave has a slim chance.

One to watch Norway's Marit Bjorgen won three golds in Vancouver and competes in six events.