Winter Paralympics preview: Para cross-country skiing day one

Oksana Masters and Kendall Gretsch will be battling for gold again while Ukraine and South Korea are favourites in the men's race 05 Mar 2022
A woman with goggles pushing herself forward with two sticks in a sit ski competition on a sunny day.
Oksana Masters of the USA is the bronze medallist from PyeongChang 2018 with her compatriot Kendall Gretsch taking gold.
ⒸMaddie Meyer/Getty Images
By Aurore Gander | For World Para Snow Sports

The men’s and women’s sitting long-distance events will kick off the Para cross-country skiing action at Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games on Sunday (6 March) at the Zhangjiakou National Biathlon Centre.

Here is all you need to know about day one!


In the women’s 12km sitting event, team USA looks like the favourite for gold. The 29-year-old Kendall Gretsch is the defending Paralympic champion and Lillehammer 2021 World Para Snow Sports Championships silver medallist.

Gretsch's compatriot and Para cross-country superstar Oksana Masters is the current world champion and a bronze medal winner from the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.

Masters has already seen the view from the top of the podium in China after her triumph in the Para biathlon sprint event. Gretsch took the bronze medal with China's Yilin Shan finishing between the two USA skiers on Saturday.

China will be represented by three athletes on Sunday when the hosts will try to take their first-ever Para cross-country skiing medal in Paralympic history.


The men's long distance event opens the programme at the Zhangjiakou National Biathlon Centre on Sunday.

South Korea’s superstar Eui Hyun Sin made history by winning his country's first Para cross-country medal at PyeongChang 2018. He took bronze on home soil and made it one better at Lillehammer 2021 Worlds where he picked the silver.

Ukraine’s defending Paralympic champion Maksym Yarovyi will also be in action and targeting a return to the podium after a frustrating ninth place at Lillehammer in January.

Another athlete looking for redemption after Lillehammer will be Italy's Giuseppe Romele, who missed the finish line at the World Championships. The 30-year-old Italian was in first place for most of the race but went for another lap instead. 

Sixth place at PyeongChang 2018, Brazil's Cristian Ribera will be aiming a first Winter Games medal for Latin America.

Live results from Beijing 2022 will be available on You can follow all the action, behind the scenes and news on World Para Snow Sports social media channels on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.