Nordic Skiing (Para)

This section contains information on local adapted activities and inclusive sports

Para Nordic skiing includes both cross country skiing and biathlon in the Paralympic world.  As is the case for alpine, there are classification for leg and arm impairments, sit skiers and for the visually impaired. Races are held in distances from one to 20 kilometres along with relays in both sports.

Cross country skiing involves short, middle and long distances, ranging from 2.5 km to 20 km, or participate in a team relay using either classical or free techniques.

Biathlon combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting, but Para Biathalon differs from Olympic biathlon because skiers must always shoot from a prone position. Athlete start times are staggered by a 30 second interval system.

Biathlon is divided into short-distance and long-distance. In short-distance, skiers race around a 2-5km loop, stopping twice to take five shots at a target placed 10m away. Long-distance is similar but skiers must complete five trips around the loop, stopping to shoot four times. For the shooting portion, skiers with a visual impairment use an electronic beam system including a headshet that plays a varying acoustic signal to indicate when they are on target. The higher the pitch, the closer to the center of the target.

Each shooting bout has five targets in a row that must be hit within their 15mm bulls eye. In short-distance, a penalty loop must be skied for each missed shot. Depending on the athlete’s classification, the loop may be 100m or 150m. In long-distance individual race, a one minute time penalty is added to the athletes time for each missed shot.

Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snow Sports

Tom Clarke

Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snow Sports
c/o Courtenay Recreation / Filberg Centre
411 Anderton Avenue
Courtenay, BC  V9N 6C6


Paralympic Sport

On Viasport

Yes (Disabled Skiiers Association of BC)

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