Men's sprint classic 2018 Olympics Odds

Who will win men's sprint classic during the 2018 Olympics?

Johannes H. Klæbo1.451.45
Sergey Ustiugov8.008.00
Alexander Bolshunov18.0018.00
Calle Halfvarsson18.0018.00
Federico Pellegrino21.0021.00
Alex Harvey26.0026.00
Eirik Brandsdal26.0026.00
Emil Iversen26.0026.00
Pål Golberg26.0026.00
Sondre Turvoll Fossli34.0034.00
Alexander Panzhinskiy41.0041.00
Finn Hågen Krogh41.0041.00
Oskar Svensson41.0041.00
Petter Northug41.0041.00
Teodor Peterson41.0041.00
Iivo Niskanen51.0051.00
Alexey Poltoranin76.0076.00
Anton Gafarov101.00101.00
Baptiste Gros101.00101.00
Emil Jönsson101.00101.00
Lucas Chanavat101.00101.00
Andrew Newell151.00151.00
Matias Strandvall151.00151.00
Len Väljas201.00201.00

Cross-country skiing is said to be the most ancient form of skiing. And it's hard to argue, looking at its impressive history. Not only when it comes to organized sports, but also when it comes to practical skiing. Since 1924, it has been a regular fixture in the Winter Olympics and is now one of the most popular winter sports in the world. It has spawned several related events and is also one of the main driving forces when it comes to the practical evolution of skis. But where did it all begin?

It has a diverse and long-reaching history that goes as far back as the idea of skiing itself. In order to understand what this often underrated endurance sport is all about. We have to understand where it comes from. The usage of skis probably dates as far back as the early times of humanity. It originally served a practical purpose since it enabled transportation of both people and goods over long distances in rough snow covered terrain.

But modern skiing as we know it primarily evolved in the Nordic countries Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Skis became a regular fixture in the military of the Scandinavian countries. And from basic drills came organized events and competitions. Norway became the first country to arrange public skiing events. And it not surprising that cross-country skiing even today is mostly dominated by Scandinavian countries. Amazingly, the popularity has spread throughout the world.

Probable outcomes -- many and varied

Since the Olympics are far in between. Looking at previous events will mostly tell us which countries we can expect to provide top athletes. Not surprisingly, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland have pretty much secured permanent top ranking. But since it's not uncommon for individual athletes to move on, change focus and even retire during the four year gap between the games, we will need a different stick to measure by. The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships is generally considered to be a benchmark test for any skier wishing to compete at a higher level. When the 2017 event took place in Lahti, Finland, there were actually a few unexpected outcomes. These are worth taking a closer look at.

As far as sprint goes. Federico Pellegrino from Italy broke his country's long-standing losing streak. In an amazing close tie between him and Sergey Ustiugov from Russia, he managed to secure the gold. Followed by Johannes Høsflot Klæbo from Norway. What's interesting here is that even though Federico Pellegrino performed so well, being from Italy has actually caused the odds to be stacked against him. And Johannes Høsflot Klæbo has instead been hailed as a probably winner. They are both highly skilled skiers but, generally, Klæbo has the tendency to score better positions and higher points. Does this mean he is a sure winner? Doubtfully. Sergey Ustiugov has an equally impressive career. And it's very important to remember that these are only three of the world class athletes that will compete.

We also have to take into consideration potential injuries, on going drama and everything else surrounding the upcoming event. And there has been a re-occurring critique of Sergey Ustiugov. Mostly having to do with his supposedly aggressive skiing, not shying away from elbowing his way forward. Some have argued that there is only a matter of time before this results in at least a temporary suspension. But no matter how we look at it, men's sprint classic has become an extremely important and high adrenaline event. We will have lots to look forward to.