Nordic Combined – Overview
Nordic combined is a sport which includes ski jumping and cross-country skiing. Currently Nordic combined is played in Winter Olympics and to popularize this sport, FIS Nordic Combined World Cup is played. The highest authority to regulate Nordic combined is the International Ski Federation. It has not sanctioned any women’s competition. Nordic combined is largely dominated by the Scandinavian countries. This sport is invented by Norwegians and many great players come from Norway to entertain the crowd.
According to Gunderson method, the athlete who will touch the tape at the end of the cross-country race first will be the overall winner. We will discuss about the Gunderson method later.
Nordic Combined was played with three medal events which include individual, team, and sprint.
In individual event the athletes perform twoski jumps from a hill on the first day of the competition and the range is either 295 feet or 90 metres. On the next day cross-country race takes place in which the athletes have to cover 15 kilometres.
Team event is normally favourite among the viewers and is also crowd pulling in nature. Here each nation will have four players who have to perform two jumps from a hill on the very first day.
Each team gets ranking based on their eight jumps made on the day. The same players who took part on the first day play the cross country race the next day as relay race of 20 kilometres. Each player will ski for 5kms.
Sprint event is also very popular among the viewers. Here unlike other events the ski jump will be made from a large hill and the range is either 394 feet or 120 metres, and like others, the cross-country will take place on the next day whose length will be around 7.5kms.
A Brief History of Nordic Combined
The Nordic combined sport includes ski jumping and cross-country skiing. Basically skiing technique was invented to travel over snow on skis. It is believed that skiing was invented and practised as early as 600 B.C. Inception ski jumping which is a part of Nordic combined started in Norway in 1808, when Ole Rye jumped over a height of 9.5 metre.
World’s first ski jumping competition was held at Norway in the year 1866. Sondre Norheim won that championship and he was believed to be the father of modern ski jumping. After world war-1, a new technique was developed popularly known as Kongsberger Technique that helped Sepp Bradl of Austria in achieving 101 metre jump in 1936.
Coming back to Nordic combined, the first major competition was held in 1892 in OSLO. This sport became famous when it was included in 1924 Winter Olympics. Initially, cross-country race was held first and ski jumping the day after. But after 1950 the style was reversed and ski jumping was held first.
Nordic combined has gained much popularity all over the world. Since its introduction to modern Olympics in 1924, the popularity of this sport by different nations grew exponentially. Many Asian and non-Asian countries participate actively in this sport. Some of the major dominating Asian countries are Kazakhstan, Korea, Japan. But Europeans mainly the Scandinavian countries are dominant in this sport. The list includes Poland, Italy, Norway, Austria, Germany.
In Sochi Olympics, Eric Frenzel of Germany won gold medal in men’s individual. Norway has always produced some great players in Nordic combined as men’s team of Norway won gold medal in Sochi Olympics. Also Jorgen Graabak of Norway won gold in men’s individual LH category.