Carnage at the finish line: Why cross-country skiers collapse

Finally, I have a detailed answer for why cross-country skiers collapse at the finish line.

I’ve been watching Olympic skiing with more fascination than usual, since I’ve recently started skiing again.

They collapse for basically the reason you’d expect: They’re exhausted. This Slate article explains it more eloquently, and in more detail.

“Cross-country skiing is one of the most physically demanding sports known to man. Unlike their downhill colleagues, cross-country skiers don’t get much help from gravity. Unlike figure skating, cross-country skiing involves neither costumes nor choreography. Whereas running is primarily a lower-body activity, cross-country skiers use use all the major muscle groups to propel themselves across flat surfaces and inclines, with little opportunity for coasting, while the world yawns and changes the channel. You’d collapse, too — about 30 seconds after you started the race.

For a look at the collapse, and skiers describing what it’s like, check out this video.

And if you can’t get enough, here’s an impassioned argument for why cross-country skiing is the best Olympic sport.

More in Life

Julia Turner and her father, Ed, toast as they try out a flight of beer and cider at Lake Stevens Brewing Co. when it opened last year. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Beer of the Week: Lake Stevens Brewing Co.’s Sour Imperial

The beer has a depth and a complex flavor profile that goes beyond just another barrel-aged stout.

Now is the perfect time to design the garden of your dreams

Find inspiration in gardening magazines, on the internet, in your neighborhood and at nurseries.

Teen idol David Cassidy remains in Florida hospital

The former pop star is dealing with multiple organ failure.

Around Thanksgiving, gardeners give thanks for the garden

What are they most thankful for? The pleasure they receive from spending time in their yards.

Great Plant Pick: Thuja occidentalis ‘Degroot’s Spire’

What: An exceptional selection of the eastern arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis “Degroot’s Spire”… Continue reading

The pros’ snow: Lake Tahoe a big draw for skiers of all stripes

North Lake Tahoe is home to one of the largest concentrations of ski resorts in North America.

How birds stay alive in winter and what you can do to help

When the weather turns chilly, columnist Sharon Wootton’s thoughts turn to birds coping with cold.

Our annual list of holiday events in Snohomish County and beyond

LIGHTS The Lights of Christmas: Open 5 to 10 p.m. Nov. 30-Dec.… Continue reading

How to maintain your life’s balance amid change

Columnist Paul Schoenfeld shares some techniques for working toward a sense of stability.

Most Read