Winter Olympics: Nordic Combined
Long dominated by Scandinavian countries
by John Gettings and Christine Frantz
The Nordic combined involves two staples of the Winter Games: ski jumping and cross-country skiing.
A new scoring system, introduced at the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary, made the event more fan-friendly. The Gunderson Method, named for its inventor, is a system that judges use to award the first starting position in the cross-country race. The rest of the athletes' ski jumping scores are then converted into staggered start times.
In the past it took judges hours after the event to finish comparing ski jump points and cross-country times and thus determine the winner. This revolutionary formula sped up the process.
The new procedure meant that, for the first time, the first athlete to break the tape at the end of the cross-country race was the overall winner.
The Nordic combined at Turin will feature three medal events:
The Nordic combined will be held on Feb. 11, 15, and 21 at Pragelato, located in Val Chisone at the foot of Mount Albergian.
In 2002, the Finns monopolized the gold with Samppa Lajunen winning the Individual and Sprint events.
The United States' best chance at winning its first medal is four-time Olympian Todd Lodwick. A Colorado native, Lodwick placed fifth in the sprint and earned the highest U.S. showing in Nordic combined in the 2002 Winter Games.
Fact Monster™ Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.