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Sports

Nordic Combined

Jarl Magnus Riiber soars in the classic ski jump pose, leaning all the way forward with his head nearly touching this skis and his arms at his sides.
Jarl Magnus Riiber of Norway competes during the nordic combined team event at PyeongChang 2018. (Michel Cottin/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

What's it all about?

How awesome would it feel to strap on some rocket boots and fly through the air? That’s sort of what ski jumping is like. But in the nordic combined event, you then have to follow that with a cross-country ski race!

How it's played

Things to watch for

Jan Schmid of Norway competes during the nordic combined team gundersen LH/4x5km at PyeongChang 2018. (Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Jan Schmid of Norway competes during the nordic combined team gundersen LH/4x5km at PyeongChang 2018. (Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Normal hill, long hill

  • There are two ski jump hills, called the normal hill (NH) and the large hill (LH).
  • The normal hill is used for the individual Gundersen NH event.
  • The large hill is used for the individual Gundersen LH event and the team event.
Fabian Riessle (R), Johannes Rydzek (C) and Eric Frenzel (L) of Germany compete during the nordic combined individual Gundersen 10km cross-country event at PyeongChang 2018. (Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Fabian Riessle (R), Johannes Rydzek (C) and Eric Frenzel (L) of Germany compete during the nordic combined individual Gundersen 10km cross-country event at PyeongChang 2018. (Clive Mason/Getty Images)

There's no "I" in team

  • In the team event, each country has four team members that compete.
  • They each perform a jump from the large hill, with their scores added together.
  • Then they cross-country ski in a relay race with each team member skiing 5 km.
USA's Taylor Fletcher competes in the nordic combined team Gundersen LH/4x5km cross country during Pyeongchang 2018. (Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images)
USA's Taylor Fletcher competes in the nordic combined team Gundersen LH/4x5km cross country during Pyeongchang 2018. (Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images)

Where are the women?

  • There’s no rule saying that women can’t compete in this event, but they never have.
  • It’s the only Winter Olympic event that women don’t compete in, but that may change in 2026. 
  • Women also rarely compete in the sport’s World Cup circuit, but it’s gaining popularity.
Action packed facts.
  • Ski-jumpers have special bindings on their skis that are built to make sure they unfasten from the skis in the case of a fall.

  • The sport got its start over 100 years ago at a ski festival in Norway, where it was the main attraction.

  • Norway has dominated the event over the years, taking an incredible 31 medals home.

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