CANAAN VALLEY, W.Va. – As the Winter Games continue, amateur and seasoned cross-country skiers head to White Grass Ski Touring Center in Canaan Valley.

This way, novices and their more athletic counterparts can pretend that they are in Beijing competing for a 2022 Winter Olympic Gold Medal in one of the many forms of the sport.

Cross-country skiers at White Grass (WBOY Image)

“I think most people know about the traditional cross-country skis that you see people go through woods and across fields. There is also Telemark skiing which you see at a lot of the downhill ski areas, and then skate skiing which is really fast and dynamic with those long stiff skis that’s really exciting and popular to watch in the Olympics,” said Tom Yocum, a ski instructor at White Grass.

But before you go for the gold, you need to know the basics.

Cross-country skiers at White Grass (WBOY Image)

“This is like ice skating through the woods, and instead of being on a pond, you can go wherever you want, it’s like ice skating and skiing at the same time,” explained White Grass owner Chip Chase.

You start off by getting your equipment, plenty of snow to enjoy the sport, and don’t forget about the boots, bindings, skis, and poles.

“The gear is very lightweight and it is meant to allow for a person to move down and move across the terrain,” explained Yocum.

You start off standing with your feet at shoulder-width apart and bending slightly at the hips, knees and ankles with your hands in front of you. The,n walk using your skis on a flat surface and make a stride in a straight line.

When you feel comfortable and are getting the hang of it, go for a stride and glide. It takes time to get the hang of it, and you may fall, and that’s okay. It’s all part of that Olympic journey and starts at the very beginning.

“I think the best thing to do is to take a lesson. It doesn’t cost that much and it doesn’t take too long, but you should learn the basics. What you should be doing and what you should be shying away from and in no time we can have you go down on the track,” said Yocum.

Cross-country skier at White Grass (WBOY Image)

Even after learning the basics of cross-country skiing, the most important thing about this Nordic winter sport is having fun.