For centuries in the snow-covered North, skis were required to chase game and gather firewood in the wintertime. With long distances between the small, isolated communities and hard, snowy winters, skiing also became an essential tool for social contacts. The word “ski” is a Norwegian word that comes from the Old Norse word “skid”, which is a split length of wood.
HOLMENKOLLEN SKI FESTIVAL
The famous Holmenkollen Ski Festival started in 1892, where the main attraction was the Nordic combined event. The festival proved popular and soon attracted skiers from Sweden and other neighboring countries. In fact, King Olav V of Norway was himself an able jumper and competed in the Holmenkollen Ski Festival in the 1920s.
Nordic combined individual events have featured in every Olympic Games since the first Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix in 1924. Unsurprisingly, the sport has been dominated by the Norwegians, supported by the Finns. It was not until 1960 that the Nordic grip on Olympic triumphs in this discipline was finally broken when West German Georg Thoma won the gold medal at Squaw Valley in 1960.
The Nordic combined is currently only contested by men and consists of four medal events. There are two jumps from a ski jump and 10 km of cross-country skiing in the individual Gundersen event. The cross-country distance is 7.5 km in the sprint event, while only one jump is made from the springboard. In the Mass Start race, the distance of the cross-country race is 7.5 km, with only one jump from the trampoline. Four athletes from each country compete in the Team Event. Each athlete makes two jumps from the trampoline, and the score determines the starting order of the 4 x 5 km cross-country relay.