Imagine the joy of being able to glide up hills with little resistance and speed down the other side on trails that are specially groomed to foster as much speed as you are game enough to gather. This is the joy of skiing on very thin, very fast skating skis.
Skating on skis has some similarities to ice skating with a continuous action of changing weight from one ski to the other and using the poles to assist with the forward motion. Skating trails are groomed smooth and wide next to the Classic tracks.
Skating is a relatively new sport to the Olympics and increasingly those just starting cross country skiing are introduced to the skating technique.