Para nordic skiing programs

Para nordic skiing includes both cross-country skiing and biathlon for athletes of all ages who have a physical impairment. Nordiq Canada works with clubs to develop programs and coaches for para-nordic skiers, and we prepare the best of those athletes to compete at the Paralympic Games.


Para nordic programs are delivered through ski clubs across the country following Nordiq Canada’s Long-Term Athlete Development [LTAD] model. Contact your local club to learn more.

Need help including Para nordic participants and athletes in your club program? Look for the Starter Guide: Club Para Nordic Programs in the Document Centre and contact your Division.

International Competition

Para nordic skiing is organized and governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and coordinated by the World Para Nordic Skiing (WPNS) Technical Committee. Canada follows WPNS rules and regulations. The IPC defines all Para sport as being for those with a primary impairment that belongs to one of 10 eligible impairment types.

“Para” comes from the Greek meaning “beside” or “alongside.” The current use of the term stems from the Paralympics, which indicates that the games are parallel to the Olympics.


Classification is a system that levels the competitive playing field for athletes with physical disabilities. The classification system is designed to minimize the impact of the disability on the outcome of competition so that athletes succeed based on their sporting ability. Athletes are evaluated and grouped into sport classes defined by the degree of function presented by their disability.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) regulates classification for Para sport using a set of rules called the IPC Classification Code. Nordiq Canada also has its own classification policy to guide our domestic classification system.

Para nordic skiing (cross-country and biathlon) is divided into three main categories, each with several sport classes. In competition, each category is run as a separate medal event.

  • Standing LW 2-9
  • Sitting LW 10-12
  • Visually impaired B 1-3

Codes identify the athlete’s specific competitive category. LW (Locomotion Winter) refers to winter athletes with a locomotive disability, and B (Blind) refers to athletes who are visually impaired.

The results of a competition are based upon a factored time (percentage) formula for each classification, in each category, with the intent to create an equitable competition.

Look for Para nordic resources in the Document Centre.