At its meeting in Ljubljana on 6th June, the FIS Council confirmed 'skiathlon' to be the new official name of the Cross-Country race format pursuit in which both the classical and free technique are used with equipment change at mid-distance. This was done in order to distinguish the competition from the handicap races which are a type of a pursuit as well.
Skiathlon was introduced in 2003 and is an event on the program of the Olympic Winter Games and the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. The first half of the race - total length for ladies 15km and 30km for men - is competed in classical technique while the latter half is raced in the free technique. The ski equipment change takes place in special changing boxes at the stadium.