SPORTS
02/09/2014 03:07 pm ET Updated Feb 09, 2014

Nothing Says 'Exhaustion' Quite Like The Finish Line Of An Olympic Skiathlon (PHOTOS)

In most Olympic events, the moment of triumph is marked by celebration. With a gold medal secured, Olympic athletes have been known pump their fists or leap for joy. Those from the Dufour-Lapointe family of Canada may opt to hug a nearby sibling in such a jubilant situation.

Such displays of joy don't seem to be an option for those competing in the skiathlon.

A cross-country skiing event, skiathlon requires competitors to complete the first half of the allotted distance on classic technique skis before switching -- with the clock still ticking -- to skating skis to finish using free technique. The women's 15-kilometer skiathlon was the first cross-country event to take place the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Norway's Marit Bjoergen was the first across the finish line at at the Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center on Saturday, followed closely by Sweden's Charlotte Kalla. Heidi Weng of Norway then narrowly edged two other competitors to capture the bronze medal. Within moments, medalists and non-medalists alike were sprawled on the snow, utterly exhausted.

skiathlon
ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images

The scene at the conclusion of the men's 30-kilometer skiathlon on Sunday didn't look much different after Switzerland's Dario Cologna won gold.

skiathlon
ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images

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