What is nordic combined at Winter Olympics 2022? Which events make up Beijing sport, rules, scoring explained

The hybrid event of nordic combined is one of the Olympic Games’ more unique challenges

One of the great joys of the Winter Olympics is the way in which it brings the average sports fan into contact with events and disciplines that might otherwise pass them by.

As the 2022 games get into full swing over in Beijing, viewers are in for a feast of wintry action, but that can also mean a steep learning curve for casual spectators - especially when several events combine more than one discipline.

Nordic combined is, somewhat unsurprisingly given its name, one such sport.

An event that combines both ski jumping and cross country skiing, it requires both daring and endurance from competitors.

Heading into Beijing 2022, it remains the only Winter Olympics sport closed off to women, despite being popular among female competitors around the world.

We’ve gathered everything you need to know about the event below...

Everything you need to know about the Winter Olympics 2022 (Graphic: Kim Mogg)

What is nordic combined?

Nordic combined is an event that mixes both ski jumping and cross country skiing.

The ski jumping portion of the competition takes place first, with the overall standings after that round determining where athletes start in the subsequent cross country section.

At Beijing 2022, there will be three separate Nordic combined events.

The two individual events — normal hill and large hill — are differentiated by the size of the ski jump completed in the first section.

The normal hill consists of skiers completing one 98m jump, followed by a 10km cross country pursuit.

In large hill, competitors attempt a larger 125m jump, followed by a 10km cross country pursuit.

The team event involves four skiers per country attempting 125m jumps, followed by a 4x5km relay.

How is nordic combined scored?

The two separate parts of the event are scored differently.

In the ski jumping section, athletes are awarded distance and style points, as well as gate and wind compensation points.

As mentioned above, those scores then determine where skiers begin in the staggered start of the cross country competition.

The cross country race is a pursuit event, in which athletes begin their circuit at various time intervals determined by the Gundersen method, derived from its creator and former Nordic athlete Gunder Gundersen of Norway.

The first competitor to cross the line wins the entire event.

In the team event, a country’s combined ski-jumping score determines where they will start in the cross country relay race.

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