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XC skiing needs to raise its standards

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South African xc skier Oliver KraasWith a little planning and the right connections at the immigration office of your choice, you too could be an Olympian! It was apparent from the single-athlete nations represented in last night's Opening Ceremonies that if you want to be an Olympian and you happen to be from a country that has no snow, no mountains, or no cultural attachment to a winter sport--you're best bet is Cross-Country Skiing.

Algeria, Ethiopia, Bermuda, South Africa, India, Great Britain, and Kenya all have XC skiers entered in these Games--none of whom have a shot at placing within minutes of the top 30 finishers. I trained hard for a decade and was a competitive collegiate Cross-Country skier, but I was never in serious contention of making the US Olympic team. Kinda makes me wish I would have pursued dual-citizenship in Zimbabwe or Fiji.