How Nordic Combined Works
One of several Winter Olympic events to incorporate cross country skiing, Nordic combined pairs the event with the ski jump to create a unique hybrid that tests all aspects of competitors’ skiing ability. It’s one of the original Olympic events, appearing in every program since the first Winter Olympics in 1924. Nordic combined is also the only sport in the Games without a women’s competition.
Unsurprisingly, Norway and other Scandinavian countries have historically dominated this competition. Nordic Combined features three disciplines: normal hill, large hill, and team relay. The latter two competitions weren’t added until recent years, but a Norwegian won the normal hill competition in six of the first seven Winter Games. Though Norway has not produced a gold medalist in that event since 1998, it won gold in the other two competitions at Sochi in 2014.
The ski jumping competition offers one of the Games’ more interesting (and confusing) scoring systems. It’s a point system that combines distance with technique. Skiers take off from the jump and aim for the landing area, which features a mark called a “K-point.” This mark’s distance varies based on the size of the hill. Competitors receive 60 points for reaching this mark, and a designated number of points for every meter past the K-point the athlete lands.
Judges also score the competitors on style. Style examines the technique of the jump, control on takeoff and landing, among other factors. The jumpers can receive up to 60 total points for this metric as well, while points can also be added or subtracted based on the direction and strength of the wind.
The points are then used to rank the competitors for the cross-country race portion of the event. For every point by which an athlete leads his counterpart, he receives a four-second advantage at the start of the cross-country race. The person (or team) that crosses the line first receives the gold medal.
Got all that?
- Men’s individual normal hill jump: Feb. 14, 1:00 a.m. EST
- Men’s individual 10 km race: Feb. 14, 3:45 a.m. EST
- Men’s individual large hill jump: Feb. 20, 5:00 a.m. EST
- Men’s individual 10 km race: Feb. 20, 7:45 a.m. EST
Team large hill and relay
First introduced in the 1980s, the team event requires all four members to complete a ski jump. Their combined scores determine the time advantages or disadvantages in the 5 km race. As in all relay competitions, one competitor must complete the race course before another can begin. The first team to cross its final member across the finish line wins the gold medal.
- Men’s team large hill jump: Feb. 22, 2:30 a.m. EST
- Men’s team relay 4×5 km: Feb. 22, 5:20 a.m. EST
How to Watch
As you can tell, the times of this event aren’t particularly conducive to most American television viewing schedules, as will be the case for a sizable portion of the games. While official TV listings are forthcoming and will certainly include tape-delayed events, you’ll be able to live stream more than 1,800 hours of Olympic coverage online, including Nordic combined competitions.
For Cord-Cutters, here’s a list of services that allow you to stream the Olympics. The 2018 Olympic Games are on NBC. Here are the streaming services that carry NBC:
For more details about these services and details about the Olympic Games, visit our main 2018 Winter Olympics page.