Thursday, February 6, 2014

2014 Olympics Preview: Nordic Combined


Normal Hill Individual
Large Hill Individual
Team Event


Competing in Nordic Combined is like playing golf at Augusta National: if you have ovaries, it ain't happening. That said, this could be the last Olympic games that women do not compete in Nordic Combined, as women's ski jumping was added to the slate in Sochi, the natural next step is to add women's Nordic Combined in 2018. Nordic Combined is basically an event that two drunk Norwegians came up with when they were bored. It combines ski jumping and cross country skiing into one competition. It has been a part of the Olympics since the first Winter Games in 1924, but it was a full 24 years (the 1948 games) before a non-Norwegian even won a medal. There are three events that will be competed in Sochi: an individual event with a normal hill jump followed by a 10km cross country ski race, a large hill jump followed by a 10km cross country race and a team event where each of 4 team members jump twice from the large hill and complete a 4 x 5km relay.


Despite their early dominance in the event, Norwegians have only won 2 medals in the last 3 Games. The story of the 2010 Games was the United States, who won their first medals ever in Nordic Combined with Johnny Spillane winning Silver in both individual events and Bill Demong winning Gold in the Large Hill. The US also brought home Silver in the team competition. Austria and Germany have medaled in the team event in each of the last 3 Games with Austria being the 2-time defending Gold Medalists.

US Hopefuls

The US has not yet named the members of their Nordic Combined team, but you have to like their chances if Spillane and Demong make the roster. Two others to keep an eye on are the brother tandem of Bryan and Taylor Fletcher.


Another strong showing from the US. Austria wins their third straight Gold in the Team Event and Germany brings home some medals as well.

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