Winter Olympics: What is Nordic combined and how is it scored?

First contested at the inaugural 1924 Winter Olympics in Chamonix, France, Nordic combined has been a feature of the Games ever since.

Britain has only ever offered one athlete for the event, way back in 1936 called Percy Legard. The Cornwall-born sportsperson represented Britain at both the Summer and Winter Olympics, in the modern pentathlon and Nordic combined, respectively.

Legard was a regular officer in the British Army, but his career in sport was interrupted by the World War Two, when he served in the Commandos.

The UK may not have a long and illustrious history in the event, but Norway certainly does. The first competition of its kind was held in 1892 in Oslo, just 30 years later it was added to the official Olympic programme.

Remarkably, King Olav V of Norway competed at the Holmenkollen Ski Festival in the 1920.

Norwegians have always dominated the sport and boast 13 gold medals and 31 overall from the event since 1924, their nearest competitor Germany, has just five golds and 14 overall.

It took until 1960, 36 years since the sport’s inclusion in the Games for a non-Nordic nation to win gold in the event.

Sadly, it remains the only sport at the Winter Olympics to be male only.

What is Nordic combined?

Nordic combined brings together two Winter Olympic sports in one event. They are cross country skiing and ski jumping.

There are three Nordic combined events at Beijing 2022; the Individual (large hill/10km), Individual (normal hill/10km), Team (large hill/4x5km).

Every event starts with ski jumping first, then moves onto cross-country skiing.

Until the 1950s, the cross-country race was held first, followed by ski jumping, but this was reversed after athletes found they could not achieve the distances they wanted on the slope after exerting so much energy skiing.

How is the Nordic combined scored?

Compared to other Winter Olympic sports, Nordic combined scoring is relatively simple.

Each competitor is awarded a score by judges based on their ski jump, derived from distance, technique and style.

Then, depending on the score, their cross-country starting position is decided. Those with the best scores can set off earlier than those lower down the score table.

The winner of the entire event is the individual or team who crosses the cross-country race finish line first.

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