Cross Country Skiing Is World’s 31st Toughest Sport

FasterSkierJune 9, 2004

US TV channel ESPN just published their list of the World’s toughest sports. The goal was to find the sport that demands the most of the athlete based upon the degree of difficulty – in other words the toughest sport.

A group of panel experts made up of among other sports scientists from the United States Olympic Committee and sport journalists used 10 categories, or skills, that go into athletic performance. The panel made their list by:

“Assigning a number from 1 to 10 to the demands each sport makes of each of those 10 skills. By totaling and averaging their responses, we arrived at a degree-of-difficulty number for each sport on a 1 to 100 scale.

The conclusion was that boxing was the most demanding sport and fishing the least demanding.

Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten found it interesting that the big American sports all made top 9 while cross country skiing ended up in 31st place behind sports like Lacrosse, Rodeo, Water polo, Luge and Surfing.

Cross Country skiers on the other hand found it humorous that Biathlon didn’t make the list of 60 sports, while Curling, Bowling, Pool and Fishing did. Olympic Biathlon Champion Ole Einar Bjorndalen commented that he was not going to loose sleep over this.

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