The 50 k is the most prestigious event in any World Championship – especially this year’s, which will take place in Holmenkollen, in the city of Oslo.
But only the men race 50 k. The women race 30 k – that’s the way it has always been.
At least until now. The biggest star among the female cross-country skiers, Marit Bjoergen (NOR) wants a change.
“We have the fitness base and are tough enough to race 50 kilometers,” Bjoergen told Norwegian TV station TV2.
Just as tough
When asked by the TV2 reporter why only men race 50K, Bjoergen’s reply was, “that’s a good question.”
“I would love to race a 50 k,” Bjoergen said. “It’s really no tougher for us (women) to race 50 k than it is for the guys, and we are totally prepared physically to race it.”
In the TV2 interview, Bjoergen signed off by telling the reporter that the interview and her comments should serve as an initial request to Vegard Ulvang, the chair of the International Ski Federation’s cross-country committee, to put the 50 k on the women’s race schedule.
From Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet and TV2.no, February 7, 2011. Translation by Inge Scheve
Inge is FasterSkier's international reporter, born and bred in Norway. A cross-country ski racer and mountain runner, she also dabbles on two wheels in the offseason. If it's steep and long, she loves it. Follow her on Twitter: @IngeScheve.