The Best Olympic Athletes in Cross-country Skiing

Over 200 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Olympic Athletes in Cross-country Skiing

List of the best cross-country skiing Olympic athletes of all time, with photos of the athletes when available. The famous cross-country skiing event Olympians on this list are all regarded as some of the toughest athletes to have ever competed at the Olympics. Almost every one of these historic cross-country skiing Olympians have taken home a medal, which is why they've earned a spot on this list. Only the greatest cross-country skiing Olympic athletes are featured on the front page of this list, so be sure to vote for who you believe are the best cross-country skiing athletes and vote down the ones you disagree with.

List ranges from Marit Bjørgen to Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle and more.

This list answers the questions, "Who are the greatest Olympic cross-country skiing athletes?" and "Who is the best cross-country skiing competitor of all time?"
Ranked by
  • Marit Bjørgen

    Marit Bjørgen

    109 votes
    • Profession: Athlete, Cross-country skier
    Marit Bjørgen (born 21 March 1980) is a retired Norwegian cross-country skier. She is ranked first in the all-time Cross-Country World Cup rankings with 114 individual victories. Bjørgen is also the most successful sprinter in Cross-Country World Cup history, with twenty-nine victories. She headed the medal table at the 2010 Winter Olympics by winning five medals, including three gold. A five-time Olympian, her five Olympic medals at the 2018 Pyeongchang games brought her total number of medals up to fifteen, the most by any athlete (female or male) in Winter Olympics history.On 6 April 2018, she announced her retirement from cross–country skiing following the 2017–18 season.
  • Petter Northug

    Petter Northug

    128 votes
    • Profession: Athlete, Cross-country skier
    Petter Northug Jr. (born 6 January 1986) is a Norwegian former cross-country skier and double Olympic champion. He won a total of 13 World Championship and 2 Winter Olympic gold medals with 20 medals overall (2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze at the Olympics, 13 gold and 3 silver at the World Ski Championships), and 18 individual FIS Cross-Country World Cup wins with 13 podium places. He is also the record holder for most stage wins (13) in Tour de Ski. By winning his ninth gold medal in the Nordic World Ski Championships in 4 x 10 km relay in Val di Fiemme 2013 he leveled the achievement of Bjørn Dæhlie who had been the most successful World Champion male skier up to that point.
  • Simen Hegstad Krüger (born 13 March 1993) is a Norwegian cross-country skier who competes in the FIS Cross-Country World Cup. He represents the club Lyn. He won the gold medal in the 2018 Olympics Skiathlon event, leading a medal sweep by the Norwegians.
  • Stina Nilsson
    45 votes
    • Profession: Athlete, Cross-country skier
    Stina Nilsson is a Swedish cross country skier.
  • Teemu Kattilakoski
    27 votes
    • Profession: Cross-country skier
    Teemu Kattilakoski (December 16, 1977 in Kannus) is a Finnish cross-country skier who has been competing since 1996. His best finish at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships was sixth in the 4 × 10 km event in 2007 while his best individual finish was eighth in the 50 km event in 2003. Kattilakoski's best individual finish at the Winter Olympics was 27th in the 15 km event at Vancouver in 2010. He has a total of four individual victories at various levels all at 10 km from 1998 to 2005. He made an appearance in a commercial for Tide, playing one of the background civilians.
  • Odd-Bjørn Hjelmeset
    60 votes
    • Profession: Cross-country skier
    Odd-Bjørn Hjelmeset (born December 6, 1971 in Nordfjordeid) is a former Norwegian cross-country skier who competed from 1993 to 2011. A classical technique specialist, Hjelmeset's biggest success is the gold medal in the 50 km event at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2007 in Sapporo. At the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships he won eight medals (all in the classical style). This includes five gold medals (50 km: 2007, 4 × 10 km relay: 2001, 2005, 2007, 2009) and three bronze medals (1999: 10 km, 2001: 15 km, and 2005: 50 km). Hjelmeset has also competed on the national level in athletics, and won the bronze medal at the Norwegian championships in the 3000 metre steeplechase in 1996 and 1999.The 2007 season was Hjelmeset's best. He won two gold medals at the World Championships in Sapporo, then a World Cup race in Lahti, before winning the 50 km individual start in Holmenkollen where he had won the sprint event in 2000. Hjelmeset was awarded the Holmenkollen medal in 2007 (Shared with Frode Estil, King Harald V, and Queen Sonja). He retired after he failed to qualify for the 2011 Nordic World Ski Championships in Oslo. He last World Cup race was the 50 kilometre at the 2012 Holmenkollen Ski Festival, where he finished 52nd.