Nordic combined at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games will be contested from Feb. 14-22, with medals awarded in three different events. Since its addition to the Olympic program in 1924, Nordic combined has been exclusively contested by men. The FIS, the sport’s governing body, plans to hold the first Continental Cup for women’s Nordic combined during the 2017/18 season, and hopes to have a women’s event in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games.
Sochi in review
In the event which requires proficiency in both ski jumping and cross-country, the Norwegians, as they have in many of the Nordic disciplines, continued their dominance in Sochi. In three Nordic combined events, Norway took home four medals (2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze), Germany won three, one of each color, while Japan and Austria secured a silver and bronze, respectively. Norway has won more Nordic combined Olympic medals (30) than any other competing nation.
Norway’s Joergen Graabak was Nordic combined’s star in Sochi. After the jumping portion of the individual large hill, Graaback was sixth in the standings, heading into the 10km cross-country race. In the final lap, the lead would change three times, as a pack of five skiers fought for position. On the second to last turn, skiers jostled through tight curves toward the finish. Germany’s Johannes Rydzek lost his balance and fell after becoming tangled with teammate Fabian Riessle (who would go on to win bronze). Norway’s Graabak and fellow countryman, Magnus Hovdal Moan, would cross the finish line for gold and silver.
In the individual normal hill contest, Germany’s Eric Frenzel won gold. Frenzel entered Sochi as a favorite in each Nordic combined event, but after his day atop the normal hill podium he fell ill. He was unable to compete as he had in the previous event, and placed well behind the lead in 10th place. However, Frenzel and his German teammates would go on to win silver in the team competition.
Fog and steady rain plagued many of the days at the Nordic combined venue, but blue skies prevailed on the final day of competition as Graabak and his Norwegian teammates won gold in Sochi. The cross-country team event race came down to a sprint to the finish between Norway and Germany, but Graabak edged Germany’s Fabian Riessle by 0.3 seconds for the gold.
Athletes will compete across the following three events, with gold, silver and bronze medals awarded to the top three finishers, respectively, in each event:
- Individual normal hill
- Individual large hill
- Team large hill
Nordic combined events will be split between Alpensia’s Ski Jumping and Cross-Country Skiing Centres during the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games located in the PyeongChang Mountain Cluster. The ski resort area of Alpensia will also feature the rest of the Nordic Olympic sports including biathlon, cross-country and ski jumping. The sliding events of bobsled, luge and skeleton will also be found in Alpensia.
Athletes to watch
Wilhelm Denifl, Austria
Eric Frenzel, Germany
Johannes Rydzek, Germany
Akito Watabe, Japan
Joergen Graabak, Norway
Bryan Fletcher, United States