Winter Olympics 2018: A beginner's guide to the all-male sport of Nordic Combined at Pyeongchang Games

Nordic Combined has been one of Norway's most followed sports since making its debut at the Holmenkollen ski festival in 1892. So much so that the Norwegian Even King Olav V also competed in the 1920s.

Nordic Combined made its Olympic debut in 1924 at the first Winter Olympics. Nordic Combined essentially combines cross-country skiing and ski jumping. Interestingly, Nordic Combined is the only sport at the Winter Olympics to be competed only by men. However, the International Skiing Federation is hopeful of adding a women's event in the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Here is all you need to know about the sport:

Olympic sport since: 1924

Categories: Individual Normal Hill 10km, Individual Large Hill 10km, Team Large Hill 4 x 5km

Event schedule: 11 to 22 February

Medals at stake: 3

How does it work?

Like mentioned before, Nordic Combined is the combination of two ski events, ski jumping and cross-country skiing. Click here to know how ski jumping works and click here to know how cross-country skiing works.

Athletes are first required to attempt ski jumping on the normal or large hill depending on their event before taking part in the 10km long cross-country race. The relay event differs in the cross-country event where a skier tags his teammate after 5 km.

This is what it looks like:


Nordic Combined employs the Gundersen points system, named after its inventer, Gunder Gundersen. The point difference between athletes in the ski jumping event is converted into time for the cross-country event, which employs a staggered-start method. A point is equal to four seconds in this event. So, if the athlete with the highest points in the ski jumping has a 20-point lead over the second-placed athlete, the second-placed athlete will start 80 seconds (20 points x 4 seconds) or 1.30 minutes after the lead athlete. In the relay event, one point is equal to 1.33 seconds. The athlete to cross the finish line the first in the cross-country skiing event wins.

Contenders: Norway have absolutely dominated the sport which is no surprise since there is where the sport was born. Norwegians account for 30 medals in the sport with 13 of them being gold. Their nearest rivals Finland have only four gold medals!

Updated Date: Feb 09, 2018 19:15 PM

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