Nordic Combined individual events have been part of the Olympic Winter program since the first Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix in 1924. The team event was introduced at the 1988 Calgary Games, with three athletes per team taking part, while at Nagano in 1998, each team counted four persons.
Nordic Combined in Russia
On February 19, 1912, Russia's first Nordic Combined competition was held at the North Ski Jump near St. Petersburg and comprised a ski jumping event and a cross- country event.
The development of Nordic Combined in Russia was facilitated by the extension of World Championships and Olympic programs. Team events involving three athletes were introduced in 1982. Competitions included a ski jumping event and a 3 x 10 km skiing relay.
Nordic Combined as it is
Nordic Combined events include a ski jumping competition (1 jump) and a 10 km cross-country skiing race. There are three events in the Olympic program in Nordic Combined: Individual men Normal Hill (HS 105), Team men Large Hill 4 x 5 km and Individual men Large Hill (HS 140). HS stands for Hill Size and refers to the longest safe distance flown by the best athletes on a given hill.
The individual events are also known as the Individual Gundersen and encompass one competition jump on either a HS 105 or HS 140 ski jumping hill and a 10 km cross-country ski race. Points are scored for distance and style in ski jumping. The racers with most ski jumping points will start first in the cross-country portion, followed by the next best jumper after a gap which reflects the difference in their jumping scores and so on. This means that the first cross-country skier to cross the finish line is also the winner of the event. This method of competition, also known as the Gundersen method, was introduced in the mid 1980s.
The team event is similar to the individual event, but contested by teams of four athletes. Each takes one jump on a HS 140 m hill, with all the jumps counting towards the team total. A difference of forty-five points translates to a one minute advantage in the second event, the 4 x 5 km cross-country relay. As with the Individual events, the Gundersen method is used to determine starting times in the relay. The winner is the team whose final skier crosses the finish line first.
- Special boots with high instep allowing skiers to lean forward during flight.
- The binding must be mounted parallel to the run-direction. The binding must be placed in such a way that a maximum 57% of the entire ski length is used as the front part.
- A connection cord that is a part of the binding attaches the ski to the boot and prevents the wobbling of skis during flight. All portions of the ski jumping suit must be made of the same material and must offer certain degree of breathability. Special jumping skis can be up to a maximum length of 146% of the total height of the competitor.
Cross-country ski equipment
- The rear of the boot is built up to shore up the ankle, which is constantly under pressure in the free technique.
- Skis are narrower and lighter than those used in Alpine skiing. They have long, curved ends and rise up slightly in the middle. They can be up to 2 m long.
- Bindings secure only the toe of the boot to the ski.
- Ski poles are long and straight, often reaching up as high as a competitor's chin.
- The suit is made from body hugging stretch fabric.
- Glide wax is chosen depending on snow and weather conditions.
Nordic Combined in Sochi
During Sochi 2014 Olympic Games, Nordic Combined events will be held at the «RusSki Gorki» Jumping Center on the Northern slope of Aibga Ridge in Krasnaya Polyana. First time in the Olympic History the ski jumps outrun will be combined with the start and finish area of the Nordic Combined Cross Country.
The site for ski jumping arena was deliberately selected at a junction of two ridges by international experts so that the jumpers would be protected from side winds and so that the ski jumps would blend into the landscape.
This facility was commissioned in 2012 for test competitions.
After the Games, the «RusSki Gorki» Jumping Center will be used as the National Training Center. The Center includes: a 9,600 seat stadium, a warm-up zone and a permanent multistoreyed building for Games operations that will provide services related to the delivery of the Games.