Graham Ritchie | Canadian Olympic Cross-Country Ski Team

Graham Ritchie from Parry Sound skiing


A special edition of, Pete's Ponders, for Peter Istvan Photography, because Nordiq Canada revealed the cross-country skiing team for Beijing Winter Olympics and Parry Sound's Graham Ritchie is heading to the Winter Olympics, representing Team Canada.

I live in Parry Sound and our community is very excited for Graham and his team, for their upcoming competition at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Parry Sound is known for some great athletes such as Bobby Orr, Aidan DudasMark Ideson, and Megan Oldham. Add Graham to the list!

Graham Ritchie, was born and raised in Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada. He skied with the Parry Sound High School (PSHS) Nordic team and trained at the Georgian Nordic Activity Centre.

My daughter was also on the PSHS Nordic Ski Team, and probably much to her dismay, I started following the PSHS Nordic Ski Team to various events to cheer them on and photograph the skiers in action. I had the opportunity to capture some photos of Graham, in his early days of competitive skiing.


 skier graham ritchie from Parry Sound

skier graham ritchie from Parry Sound

skier graham ritchie from Parry Sound

skier graham ritchie from Parry Sound

skier graham ritchie from Parry Sound

skier graham ritchie from Parry Sound

skier graham ritchie from Parry Sound

Parry Sound High School Nordic Team

Logo for the Parry Sound High School Nordic Team

Graham Ritchie cross country skiing

Graham Ritchie cross country skiing

Graham Ritchie cross country skiing

graham ritchie skiing

Graham Ritchie cross country skiing

Graham Ritchie cross country skiing

Graham Ritchie cross country skiing 

Another skier that I was able to watch was Shaylynn Lowen, who we will also likely see in the Winter Olympics, one day.

shalynn lowen


Here is one of my daughter, she will love this.....NOT

Sasha Istvan sking parry sound photography




PSHS Nordic Ski Team - Mass starts at OFSAA 2016 (Check out Graham's hair)

PSHS Nordic Ski Team - OFSAA 2016 - Fun at the Exhibition Race



Graham Ritchie


Some of Graham Ritchie's coaches in Parry Sound.

graham ritchie's coaches


After high school, Graham joined the National Team Development Centre in Thunder Bay and it was a thrilling 12th place finish in a sprint skate at the 2018 Nordic Junior World Championships that earned Graham a spot on the Nordiq Canada Ski Team.

 National Team development CEntre

nordic Canada


In 2016, Graham's classmates at the PSHS, voted him to be the student....

graham ritchie award at highschool


They were right. 

In January 2022, Graham, 23, was officially named to Canada’s Cross-Country Ski Team - Winter Olympics.

Bejing Olympics


Career highlights for Graham Ritchie:

  • 2021 – World Cup, Ulricehman, SWE: 17 (Sprint F)
  • 2021 – World Ski Championships, Oberstdorf, GER: 10 (4x10km Relay), 7 (Team Sprint)
  • 2021 – Under-23 World Championships, Vuokatti, FIN: 9 (4x5km Relay), 20 (15km F), 29 (Sprint C)
  • 2020 – Under-23 World Ski Championships, Oberwiesenthal, GER: 13 (15km C), 26 (Sprint F)
  • 2019 – World Cup, Quebec City, CAN: 69 (Sprint F)
  • 2019 – Haywood NorAm, Red Deer, Alta.: 1 (Sprint F), 3 (10km F)
  • 2019 – Under-23 World Ski Championships, Lahti, FIN: 52 (15km F), 26 (Sprint C)
  • 2018 – World Junior Championships, Goms, SUI: 12 (Sprint F)
  • 2018 – German Nationals, Obersdtorf, GER: 2 (15km F mst)
  • Full results 

Recent media about Graham:


Olympic Cross-Country Ski Overview

What are the 2 styles of cross-country skiing? Traditionally, Olympic cross-country skiing events alternate between classical and free technique from Games to Games. The classic technique is the stride-and-glide motion and skis move parallel to each other. In comparison, the free technique has more of a skating motion and often referred to as skate skiing.

What are the Olympic Cross-Country Skiing Events?

For Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, there are six categories:

In the skiathlon, skiers use both classic and free (skate) technique and ski two loops (15 km for men, 7.5 km for women). After skiers complete the first loop using the classic technique, they quickly switch their skies, and complete the loop again using the free technique. First skier to cross the finish line is the winner.
In the individual events, skiers will use the classical technique to ski the course, 15 km for men and 10 km for women. Skier with the fastest time, is the winner.
Mass start
Skiers use the free technique to complete the course, 50 km for men and 30 km for women. It is a mass start, with the highest ranked skiers positioned near the front. First skier to cross the finish line is the winner.
Skiers use the free technique and event begins with a qualification round which is a race on 1 km course that ranks the skiers based on finishing times. The fastest 30 skiers continue to the quarterfinals. The two fastest skiers and the two “lucky losers” in the quarterfinals advance to one of two semifinals. The two fastest skiers and the two “lucky losers” from the semifinals advance to the final. In the finals, the first skier to cross the finish line is the winner.
Team Sprint
Skiers use the classic technique in the team sprint. A team consists of two skiers, who each complete three legs of the course, alternating, for a total of six (6) legs. Competition starts with two semifinals and the three fastest teams and the four fastest lucky losers advance to the finals. In the finals, the first team to complete the six laps is the winner.  
Relays are very exciting, high speeds and lots of action. The men’s relay races are 4 x 10 kms and women’s race are 4 x 5 kms. The first two laps are skied using the classical technique with the last two laps using free technique. After a skier completes their leg, they tag their teammate in the transition zone, who then skis the next leg. The winner is the first team to have its final skier cross the finish line.


Canada's Cross-Country Skiing at the Olympics

Cross-country skiing originated in Scandinavia over 5000 years ago, and was  introduced to Canada in the 1890s.

Cross-country skiing at the Winter Olympic Games started 1924 in Chamonix, France. In 1924, legendary Norwegian skier, Thorlief Haug, won all three skiing events, the 18 km, 50 km, and combined. The women's events were added at the 1952 Oslo Winter Olympics.

Canada has won three Olympic medals in cross-country skiing, all by women.

First medal: In 2002 Salt Lake City Winter OlympicsBeckie Scott won Canada's first GOLD medal in the pursuit event.

Second and third medals: At the 2006 Turin Winter OlympicsSara Renner won Canada's first SILVER medal in the classic team sprint event. Chandra Crawford won Canada's second GOLD medal the free sprint event.

One of the more notable performances for the men was at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. In the free team sprint, Alex Harvey and Devon Kershaw skied to a fourth place finish, just missing a medal! 

In the 50 km classic mass start event, Devon Kershaw, after skiing for 2 hours, finished a six-tenths of a second, out of bronze medal position.

Ivan Babikov also placed fifth in the skiathlon.

At the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Alex Harvey skied to a fourth place finish in the 50 km classic mass start.

Check out these thrilling and nail-biting finals of Cross Country Skiing from the Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer 1994, Nagano 1998, Salt Lake City 2002 and Vancouver 2010

Check out Team Canada’s Olympic Winter Games flag bearers

Beijing Winter Olympics 2022  

At the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, Graham is joined by:

Best of luck to Graham, Dahria, Cendrine, Antoine, Laura, Olivier, Katherine, Rémi, and Olivia, as you ski for 🥇GOLD🥇, at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics! The Olympic competition schedule shows the first cross-country ski event is Saturday, February 5th, 2022.


cross country ski schedule

Check out this link for all things Olympic from Nordiq Canada


Also, cheering on two other Parry Sounders, Megan Oldham, going to the Olympics, competing in the Freestyle skiing, and Mark Ideson, competing in the Paralympic Games Beijing 2022, in Wheel Chair Curling.

 image of three athletes

Local Athletes are representing Canada and we need your help!


Results from the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Cross-Country Skiing Races

Feb 5th - Women's 7.5 km + 7.5 km Skiathlon

 Feb 6th - Men's 15 km + 15 km Skiathlon

Feb 8th - Men's/Women's Sprint Freestyle

Feb 10th - Women's 10 km Classic Results

Feb 11th - Men's 15 km Classic Results


image of the 15 km cross country sky race


Feb 12th - Women's Cross-Country 4 x 5 km Relay Classic 

Women's 4 x 5km Relay Results - Olympic Cross-Country Skiing


Feb 13th - Men's Cross-Country 4 x 10 km Relay Classic 

Men's 4 x 10km Relay Results - Olympic Cross-Country Skiing

Feb 16 - Team Sprint Cross-Country- Classic Qualifications


Graham ritchie cross country skiing

Antoine Cyr and Graham Ritchie ski to a historic 5th place in the Men's Team Sprint Classic!

The pair again showed confidence as they would lead on the climbs, and fight for the podium positions up until the second last exchange. Norway, Russia, and Finland would go off the front creating a gap. Ritchie would do his best to close the gap on the anchor leg but would come across the line in 5th place behind Sweden. This is Canada's second-best ever Men's Olympic Team Sprint result, and the best ever in the classic discipline! This result shows the promise of things to come for the two young skiers, who at the age of just 23 have achieved a historic result!

photo of graham ritchie and antoine cyr



Graham Ritchie and Antoine Cyr Ski to Historic Fifth Place Finish in Team Sprints at Olympic Winter Games


Media: Thunder Bay skier races to historic cross-country Olympic finish in Beijing


Feb 19 - Cross-Country Skiing - Men's 30 km Mass Start Free Final

Feb 19 - Cross-Country Skiing - Men's 30 km Mass Start Free Final



Feb 20th - Cross-Country Skiing - Women's 30 km Mass Start Free Final


Results from the Free Ski Big Air

Feb 6th. Megan Oldham puts down the best run to qualify in 1st place in women's freeski big air

Feb 14 - Women's Freeski Slopestyle Qualification Results - Olympic Freestyle Skiing


Paralympic Wheelchair Curing Beijing Olympics 2022

Saturday, March 5:
Sunday, March 6:
Monday, March 7:
Tuesday, March 8
Wednesday, March 9

 Friday, March 11, Semi-Finals

Friday, March 11, Bronze Medal Match

mark ideson


Peter Istvan Photography

Peter is a professional headshot photographer. Available in studio, or on location. Serving Parry SoundMuskokaSudburyNorth Bay, Barrie, Toronto, and surrounding areas. View pricing and scheduling.

January 22, 2022 — Peter Istvan