Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-Country Skiing

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The super Swedes looking to dominate the women’s cross-country skiing in Beijing 2022

The Swedish women’s cross-country has enough firepower in their arsenal to dominate the women’s cross-country skiing at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 set for 4 February.

A combination of multiple Olympic medallists, world champions and rising stars make them a force to be reckoned with at the cold-weather showpiece.

The team boasts potential medallists in the distance and sprint events with enough depth to challenge for silverware in the team and relay disciplines.

Charlotte Kalla, the grande dame of Swedish cross-country skiing, spearheads the talented troop, including sprint world champion Jonna Sundling and World Cup leaders Frida Karlsson and Maja Dahlqvist. Olympics.com learns more about the cross-country’s super Swedes.

Charlotte Kalla: ready for her 4th gold at Beijing 2022 | Athletes to Watch

Queen Kalla

Kalla, the most decorated female Swedish Olympic athlete of all time, will be making her fourth appearance at the global showpiece, where she will be looking to add to her impressive list of accolades.

The 34-year-old Kalla has won nine Olympic medals – three gold and six silver – since her maiden Games in Vancouver 2010.

She made a stunning debut, winning gold in the 10km freestyle and the team event alongside legend Anna Haag. Four years later, in Sochi 2014, she won individual silver medals in the 15km skiathlon and 10km classical and was instrumental in Sweden’s 4x5km relay gold-medal victory.

Kalla’s tenacity was on full display as she fought her way from third place and 25.7 seconds down on the anchor leg into the lead in the final straight to claim a famous Swedish victory.

She reached legendary status in PyeongChang 2018, where she won the 15km skiathlon gold, and three silver medals in the 10km freestyle, 4x5km relay and team sprint. She became the first Swedish woman to win three Winter Olympic golds in the process.

Kalla’s preparation for Beijing 2022 has been hampered by COVID-19 illness and injury, which has seen her lose some of her dominance. She finished fifth in skiathlon and sixth in 10km freestyle at the 2021 world championships.

While she may not have been in the best shape of her life in recent years, Kalla possesses both the grit and experience to reach for a record 10th Olympic medal or more.

ALSO: Charlotte Kalla: The Olympic champion, role model and honorary doctor forged by ice

Frida Karlsson 
Frida Karlsson 

The form distance skier

Frida Karlsson has been one of the breakout stars over the last Winter Olympic cycle and is considered the heir apparent to Kalla’s distance throne.

The 22-year-old Karlsson is the same age as when Kalla made her Olympic debut and will be hoping for an equally impressive baptism.

Karlsson already has an impressive resume earning six medals over the last two world championships. She earned one gold (in the team relay), three silver (10km classic, freestyle and 15km skiathlon) and two bronze (30km classic).

The 19-year-old made her breakthrough in 2019, becoming a world champion as a member of the women’s 4x5km relay at the world championships in Seefeld Tirol, Austria.

Karlsson will be going into Beijing 2022 as the most consistent performer of the season as the overall Cross-country Skiing World Cup leader over the distance events.

READ MORE: How to watch cross-country skiing at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022

GettyImages-919235442
GettyImages-919235442

Andersson adding experience

Ebba Andersson is one of the more seasoned campaigners in the women’s team and will be going into her second Olympic Winter Games in Beijing 2022.

She already has an Olympic silver medal behind her name, which she won with the Swedish 4x5km relay team from PyeongChang 2018.

Four years ago, she came close to an individual medal finishing fourth in the 15km skiathlon and will be looking for an upgrade this time around.

She stepped onto the podium at the last three world championships with two bronzes in the 10km freestyle and 15km skiathlon. Andersson also won gold and silver in the 4x5km relay in 2019 and 2017, respectively.

The 24-year-old Andersson is ranked fourth in World Cup rankings in the distance events and second overall this season.

READ MORE: Olympic cross-country skiing at Beijing 2022: Top five things to know

Jonna Sundling
Jonna Sundling

The sprint world champion

Sprint specialist Jonna Sundling came into her own over the last two seasons delivering on the promise she showed at a junior level.

The 27-year-old Sundling won double gold at the junior world championships in 2014, winning the individual sprint title and anchored the sprint and anchored the Swedish team to gold in 4x3.3km relay in Val di Fiemme, Italy.

She produced her best result at a senior level at the 2021 world championships in Oberstdorf, Germany, winning gold in the individual and team sprint.

Sundling had a hiccup in her build-up to Beijing 2022, suffering a hand injury for the first part of the World Cup season. In December 2021, she made a successful comeback in Dresden, where she finished second in the individual sprint and won gold with compatriot Maja Dahlqvist.

Maja Dahlqvist
Maja Dahlqvist

Sprinting ahead

Maja Dahlqvist has been a staple of Sweden’s team sprint efforts at the last two world championships, winning gold in 2019 and 2021 with Stina Nilsson and Sundling, respectively.

The 27-year-old will not only count among the contenders for the team sprint in Beijing 2022 but will also fancy her chances in the individual sprint event.

Dahlqvist will go into the winter showpiece buoyed by her form in the World Cup, which she has dominated since the end of November 2021. She leads the overall World Cup rankings in the sprint events after winning four individual competitions.