Nordic Combined athletes compete in Ski Jumping and Cross Country skiing. The competitions begin with Ski Jumping, which is carried out just like a normal Ski Jumping competition (see What is Ski Jumping? Info sheet). The Ski Jumping portion is then followed by a Cross Country race which uses a Gundersen start, where the best ski jumper starts the race first and then other competitors start staggered behind the leader based on their jumping result. This is determined by a point conversion system where points back from the leader are converted to start time back for the Cross-Country race. Athletes use the skating Cross-Country technique for all races.
History of Nordic Combined
While Norwegian soldiers are known to have been competing in Nordic skiing since the early 19th century, the first major Nordic Combined Competition was held in 1892 in Oslo, Norway at the first Holmenkollen Ski Festival. Nordic Combined has been an Olympic sport since the 1924 Winter Olympics. Historically, there has been no Women’s Nordic Combined, but for the first time ever a Women’s Nordic Combined National Championships will be held in Lake Placid, New York in 2017. There are now many young female Nordic Combined skiers, and the sport is growing.
Until the 1950s, the Cross-Country race was held first. Now the most common type of competition is the Individual Gundersen. Prior to 2008, this event encompassed two jumps and a 15 kilometer (k) Cross-Country race. Now competitions typically consist of one jump and a 10 k Cross-Country race at the international level, but formats can vary depending on the age group. Points are scored in Ski Jumping for distance and style. In the Cross-Country race, a 15-point lead in the Ski Jumping portion equals a one-minute head start. The racers with the most Ski Jumping points will start first, followed by the next best jumper based on the difference in their jumping scores. This means that the first skier to cross the finish line is the winner of the event.