Photos Of Cross Country Skiers Collapsing At The Finish Line Show How Gruelling The Sport Really Is

Cross country skiing is arguably the most physically draining sport at the Olympics. For up to 30 km (18.6 miles), cross country athletes sprint on their skis, often uphill. By the end of the race they are so exhausted, most people immediately collapse at the finish line.

The top finishers of the 7.5 km classic + 7.5 km free women’s race from day one:

Dario Cologna of Switzerland falls after winning gold in the 15 km Classic + 15 km Free:

Ida Ingemarsdotter of Sweden collapses just past the finish line of the women’s sprint free:

Ola Vigen Hattestad flops over after winning bronze in the cross country men’s & women’s sprint:

Eric Frenzel is exhausted after winning gold in the Nordic Combined Individual Gundersen Normal Hill and 10km cross country:

And he collapses on his back:

But everyone regains their energy for the gold medal stand:

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