Para Nordic skiing consists of two disciplines, cross-country skiing and biathlon.
The cross-country element has been part of the Winter Paralympics since the first Games in Sweden in 1976 while biathlon made its debut in Innsbruck in 1988 while athletes with a visual impairment were included four years later.
Both disciplines have medal events for men and women from different impairment groups.
Cross-country skiers can compete in individual or team, classical or freestyle events ranking from 2.5km to 20km in distance. Visually impaired skiers compete with a guide while those with a physical impairment compete using either a sit-ski or standing using one or two skis and/or poles.
Biathlon combines cross-country skiing and target shooting. Athletes compete in one of three categories – seated, standing or visually impaired – and ski laps of a 2km or 2.5km course three or five times in the free technique for a total race distance of between 6-15km.
Between the two stages athletes must hit two targets located at a distance of 10 metres. Each miss is penalised by an increase in the overall route time. Athletes with visual impairment are assisted by acoustic signals, which, depending on signal intensity, indicate when the athlete is on target.
GB Paralympic history
Scott Meenagh, who lost his legs after stepping on an IED while serving in Afghanistan in 2011, is the first British representative in the discipline since the 1998 Games in Nagano.
Britain’s last medallist was Peter Young who won bronze in the visually impaired events in Innsbruck in 1984 and Lillehammer in 1994.
Did you know?
In Sochi in 2014, Russia won 32 of the 60 cross-country medals and 30 of the 54 up for grabs in biathlon.
Meenagh played rugby competitively before his accident and represented West of Scotland and Scotland Under-18s.
Canada’s Brian McKeever, who has 10 Paralympic golds, was named as part of his country’s Olympic squad in 2010 but was not selected to race.
Oksana Shyshkova of Ukraine, who won three golds in the visually impaired events at last year’s World Championships, was part of a choir and a circus school when she was younger and only took up skiing in her late teens.