Nordic combination

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Olympic pictogram for Nordic combined
Ski jump
Cross-country ski run

The Nordic combination is a winter sport that the two individual subjects jumping (also in the Nordic combined ski jumping called) and cross-country skiing combined. This all-round sport is considered the "supreme discipline" of Nordic skiing .

Various competitions are held in Nordic Combined: individual races, sprint , relay and team sprint . The most important competitions are organized by the world association FIS . Nordic combined is still the only Olympic winter sport in which there are no established women's competitions such as women's world cups or Olympic medals for women.



The Nordic Combination (NK) originated like all modern Nordic skiing sports in Norway . The first competitions are documented from Norway with jumping on Huseby Hill in 1887, where jumping distances of 20 m were achieved. Immediately after the jumping, the athletes had to complete a run. In many countries, for a long time only the NK counted for the award of a championship title, for example in Germany according to statistics between 1905 and 1927. It was not until around 1930 that the individual disciplines of cross-country skiing and jumping developed into separate sports.

Nordic combined at the Olympic Games

The NK has been part of the Olympic Winter Games (OWS) program since 1924 ; initially with an 18 km run and a jump from the normal hill . Later the run was shortened and jumping from the large hill was soon added. However, only one single race was held in Chamonix in 1924, which the Norwegian Thorleif Haug won in front of two compatriots. In the following years up to the Second World War, the sport was dominated by the Norwegians. All medals were awarded to Norway at each event. Norwegian dominance did not change until 1948, when the order of the disciplines was reversed. Since then, people jump first and then run. Only in the case of the mass start that is added later, running first, then jumping. In addition, it was not until 1956 that the combined cross-country skiing was separated from the special cross-country skiing. In order to take part in the Olympic Games, applicants must first qualify in their countries at national competitions and by participating in World Cup competitions. The 50 best from the current World Cup can take part in the OWS.

Nordic combined at world championships

Team competitions have also been held at world championships since 1981. Until 2004, the NK was exclusively a men's competition. - Until 1980, the Olympic victory also counted as a world championship title. Since then, there have been no world championships in the year of the Winter Olympics, so there are no champions.

Over the years, the tables of points, as well as the number of jumps and the length of the cross-country route have been changed several times. The 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary finally brought about a major change in Nordic Combined when the Gundersen Method was first used. According to this method, the points deficit from jumping is converted into a time deficit for running so that the winner is certain when crossing the finish line. This makes the Nordic combined more attractive for the audience. A team competition was also introduced at the 1988 Olympic Games. After that, three athletes from one team ran a 10 km distance. Since the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, the team in the team competition has consisted of four combined athletes with a running distance of 5 km each.

The sprint was added as the youngest international competition at the 1999 Nordic World Ski Championships . Only one jump from the hill and a run of 7.5 km are completed. From the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City , this discipline was also Olympic.

Nordic combined in other competitions

Since the 1983/1984 season, the FIS , the umbrella organization for all competitive sports on skis, has organized a Nordic Combined World Cup . In addition to the Olympic disciplines, mass start races are regularly held here, albeit in small numbers. The cross-country skiing discipline has been held in free technique since 1985 . On January 3, 2007, a team sprint was held in Ruhpolding , Bavaria, for the first time in the history of the World Cup .


In the Nordic Combined, different disciplines are held, which follow the same basic principle, but differ from each other through different rules and calculation methods. At the moment (as of winter 2013/2014) there are two Olympic disciplines: the individual race and the team relay.

The corresponding rules for ski jumping and skiing apply to clothing and skis .

Current competition formats

Traditional individual race (Individual Gundersen)

In the traditional individual race, the combined athletes complete a jump run from a normal or large hill and then go into a 15 km cross-country ski run. The jump run consists of two rounds, whereby the athletes receive points. On the normal hill ( K75 – K99 ) 2 points are awarded per meter and on the large hill ( > K99 ) 1.2 points per meter. The allocation of points in the Nordic Combined differs from the allocation of points in the special jumpers , where 1.8 points per meter are calculated. The distance between points is converted into running arrears using the so-called Gundersen method . 2 points correspond to 8 seconds, 15 points to a minute, or in other words, 1 meter on the large hill with a time interval of 4.8 seconds.

With these time intervals, the athletes are then sent to the trail so that the winner of the jump starts first. The other combiners follow at the appropriate intervals, whereby a wave start can take place in the event of greater time lag . The runners start at the same time after a certain time lag, but keep their arithmetic. The athlete who crosses the finish line first wins the combination.

Since the 2006/07 World Cup season , only the 35 best of the first run were allowed to compete in the second round of jumping. This should shorten the competition overall and make it more interesting for the audience.

Before the introduction of the Gundersen method, the individual race was subject to several rule changes. Up until the Olympic Winter Games of 1952 , an 18 km cross-country skiing was held first and then jumping. The running distance was finally shortened to 15 km in the early 1950s. The running time from the cross-country skiing was then converted into points and added to the points achieved on the hill. The athlete with the highest number of points won the competition. An even earlier method of calculating points was as follows: The fastest runner received 20 points, then 0.25 points were deducted per minute behind. The mean was then calculated from the two partial results. Here, too, the highest number of points was decisive. Only since the introduction of the Gundersen method in 1988 has the individual race existed in its current form. The traditional individual race was removed from the calendar after the 2007/2008 season as part of the restructuring of the competition formats. After repeated calls for reintroduction, it was held at the 2013 season finale as a champions race and will be held as the final of the Nordic Combined Triple from 2014. Otherwise this competition will not take place.

New individual race (Individual Gundersen)

Since the traditional individual race was too long and confusing in the eyes of the FIS, it was replaced by a shorter format in 2008. Here the athletes complete a jump and then a 10 km cross-country ski run. Since then, this format has mainly been used in Nordic Combined at World Championships, Olympic Games and the World Cup. At World Championships or Olympic Games, this competition is even held twice (normal and large hill).


The sprint competition is ultimately a shortened individual race. In contrast to this, there is only one jump from the hill and cross-country skiing is 7.5 km. When converting the jump results into time intervals, 15 points also correspond to one minute. Here, too, the winner is whoever reaches the finish line first in the running competition.

Since the 2006/2007 season, the compact sprint has been added as a further sprint variant. This is carried out as a normal sprint or as a hurricane sprint, but the time between the last jumper and the start of the run is only 20 minutes. The combiners change their clothes for cross-country skiing immediately after their jump and go straight to warm up. The sprint was removed from the calendar after the 2007/2008 season as part of the restructuring of the competition formats. From the 2014 season it will appear again in the calendar as the prologue of the Nordic Combined Triple, but the running distance here is only 5 km. Otherwise it will not take place.

Team Gundersen

In a team competition, a relay race takes place after a team competition. Every starter has to do a jump and a 5 km cross-country ski run. The number of athletes in the team depends on the type of competition event. While the team at the Olympic Winter Games and the Nordic World Ski Championships consists of four combined athletes, three athletes compete in the World Cup . The jumping is evaluated in two rounds, as in the individual race, with each athlete jumping in his or her place number group determined by the trainer. In contrast, the starting numbers of the individual teams at the Olympic Games and World Championships depend on the previous result or, in the World Cup, on the current national ranking.

After the jump, the points achieved by the athletes of a team from one jump are calculated and converted into time delays using the Gundersen method. At the Olympic Games and World Championships, 60 points on the hill correspond to one minute on the trail. In the World Cup, on the other hand, 45 points mean a minute behind. In the subsequent relay cross-country skiing, the participants of a team go one after the other on the 5-km cross-country skiing course, with the first starter starting with the corresponding time lag on the leading team. The team whose final runner crosses the finish line first wins. This format is regularly held in the World Cup and at World Championships and Olympic Games either on the large hill or normal hill.

Team sprint

In the team sprint, which is also known as a combination omnium or combination sprint, a team consists of two athletes, each of whom must first complete one or two jumps from the hill. As in the team competition, the points achieved by both combiners are added up and converted into time delays for the leading team. 30 points behind on the hill correspond to one minute behind on the trail.

The jumping is followed by a 15 km cross-country skiing, in which the team members, unlike the Team Gundersen variant, take turns after each lap by touching their bodies within the transition area. The length of the lap varies between 1000 m and 1250 m depending on the venue. Athletes who are not currently running have the opportunity to have their skis re-prepared. A special feature is that after each completed lap, the last team is removed from the race, with at least seven teams remaining in the final lap. This should also make the placement battles in the back positions more interesting for the audience. The team whose final runner reaches the finish first wins.

In the World Cup , the team sprint was held for the first time in the 2006/07 season. Due to the weather conditions, the jumping was shortened to just one run per athlete, which gave the strong teams a slight advantage.

The FIS deleted the team sprint from the calendar after the 2007/2008 season as part of the restructuring of the competition formats, but reintroduced it in the 2011/2012 season with slightly changed rules. This format is played regularly in the World Cup and at the World Championships either on the large or normal hill. The team sprint is not Olympic.

Mass start

The mass start is characterized by the fact that, contrary to the other competitions, the two individual disciplines of the Nordic Combined are held in the reverse order and thus not according to the Gundersen method. First there is a cross-country skiing over 10 km, for which all athletes start at the same time. The running times achieved are then converted into points, with one minute behind equating to 15 points (1 point corresponds to 4 seconds). The race winner receives 120 points.

After the run, there are two jumps from the hill, for which the athletes receive points. In contrast to the other competitions, however, no posture grades are awarded for jumping in the mass start, so only the jumped distance counts. However, points are deducted if the landing is not made in the telemark style or if the jumper falls. In the case of a failed telemark, 4 points on the normal hill and 4.5 points on the large hill are deducted. In the case of fallen jumps, the deductions are 10 points for the normal hill and 10.5 points for the large hill.

The winner is the athlete who after the two jumps has the highest number of points from the jump distances and the converted running times. The mass start was removed from the calendar after the 2007/2008 season as part of the restructuring of the competition formats. However, since there were already contracts for the World Championships in Liberec, the mass start in the 2008/2009 season took place again in Val di Fiemme and at the Nordic World Ski Championships in 2009 for the first and, until further notice, only time.

In December 2018, it was included in the racing calendar for the 2018/19 season . However, posture grades are now awarded.

Out of date competition formats

Penalty Race

The Penalty Race is a biathlon-inspired discipline that was held for the first time in Lillehammer in the 2011/12 season. Each athlete first completes a jump from the normal or large hill, where he has to reach a certain minimum distance. The qualified athletes are divided into groups depending on the jump distance, each of which has a certain number of penalty loops to run (the worse the jump, the more penalty loops). The jumping winner gets 10 seconds ahead of the rest of the field, which starts in the mass start. The penalty laps can be redeemed at the end of each individual lap on the trail. The winner is the athlete who crosses the finish line first after five laps. After the 2012/2013 season, the format was removed from the calendar due to confusion.

Hurricane Sprint

Another special feature was the hurricane sprint . This corresponds to the sprint competition, with the difference here being in the starting formation. The Hurricane Sprint starts from a spiral shape. The points deficit from jumping is not converted into time, but into meter intervals. 30 points correspond to 360 meters. With this variant it is possible that all combiners start at the same time, whereby only the winner of the jump has to cover a distance of 7.5 km. Due to the space required by the starting line-up, this type of sprint could only be carried out in larger stadiums, so that the competition only took place occasionally in the World Cup . After just one season it disappeared from the World Cup calendar.


winter Olympics

Nordic combined has been part of the Olympic program since the 1924 Winter Olympics in Chamonix. At first, however, only the individual competition was Olympic. In contrast to today's Individual Gundersen, an 18 km cross-country ski run was first held and then jumped. The points achieved from both sports were added together and the athlete with the highest number of points won. At the Olympic Winter Games of 1952 , the order of the disciplines was finally reversed. The conversion of the running time into points was retained until the introduction of the Gundersen method at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. The shortening of the running distance to 15 km, however, took place at the Olympic Winter Games of 1956 .

A team competition has also been held since the 1988 Winter Olympics. The three participants each completed two jumps from the normal hill, the two best jumps were judged. The point distances to the leading team are converted into times (9 points = 1 minute). In the following run - the athletes involved in the jumping must also complete the run, as there is no substitute option - the first runner in the 4 × 5 km relay (up to 1999: 3 × 10 km) starts with the winner, the first runner in the others Teams in the appropriate time interval. The team that arrives first is therefore also the winner of the competition. Since around 2001 it has also been possible to jump from the large hill.

Since the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, the team has consisted of four combiners. A third competition, the sprint, was added to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Since the 2010 Winter Olympics, two individual competitions have been carried out using the Gundersen method. Here, a jump from the large or normal hill and then a 10 km cross-country ski run is carried out.

The three Olympic disciplines are only held by men. The IOC aims to include the Nordic Combined for women in the Olympic program by 2022 [obsolete] .

Olympia 24 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 94 98 02 06 10 14th 18th
singles x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
team x x x x x x x x x
sprint x x
Gundersen normal hill x x x
Gundersen large hill x x x

World championships

The world champions in Nordic combined are determined at the Nordic World Ski Championships . At the first Nordic World Ski Championships in 1924 , which were also the first Olympic Winter Games, only Olympic medals were awarded in the Nordic Combined. The first world champion in Nordic combined was therefore not chosen until 1925 at the second Nordic World Ski Championships .

In contrast to the other disciplines of Nordic skiing , the Olympic champions were not also world champions until the 1980 Winter Olympics .

Junior World Championships

As with the world championships, the junior world champions are determined at the junior world championships.

Nordic Combined World Cup

The Nordic Combined World Cup is an annual competition series for men from November to March. The races are organized by the World Ski Federation FIS . The overall World Cup winner has been determined since the 1983/1984 season. There has also been a sprint world cup since the 2000/01 season. The “Warsteiner Germany Grand Prix” with a special rating is also part of the World Cup.

Nordic Combined Triple

In the Nordic Combined Triple, three Gundersen competitions take place on a weekend, the field of participants in the second competition is reduced to the best 50 and for the last competition to the best 30 and the point and time differences for the starting order and the overall ranking are adopted (analogous for the Four Hills Tournament ).

Summer Grand Prix

In summer, mats are used for jumping on hills and the run takes place with inline skates . Initially, it was only used for training, from which the international Grand Prix developed. Two jumps and a 10 km run are a competition. For the overall Grand Prix, 5 comparisons are made and the results are added. In 2001 the Finn Samppa Lajunen won this competition. In the beginning the summer competitions were hardly comparable to the World Cups in winter, but from year to year the competition series in summer is becoming more and more important for top athletes.

Continental Cup

The Continental Cup, abbreviated to COC, is the second highest competition class after the World Cup. Younger combiners usually compete here in order to earn a place in their country's World Cup team. A women's Continental Cup has also been held since 2018.

Alpine Cup

The Nordic Combined Alpine Cup is a series of competitions located under the World Cup and Continental Cup. Younger junior combiners usually compete here.

Training for the Nordic combined

In the Nordic Combined two elements have to be combined that are at the opposite ends of the performance spectrum: maximum aerobic endurance possible and maximum jumping power possible . This combination is actually mutually exclusive. The endurance runner is slim and light, the jumper needs strong, powerful muscles to jump. The analysis of the training of the world's best Nordic Combined athletes from Norway showed that of the 846 ± 72 training hours / year 540 ± 37 h of endurance training and 236 ± 55 h / year consisted of non-endurance training, of which 211 ± 44h jump training with u. a. 908 ± 165 ski jumps or ski jump imitations. With the exception of the regeneration and transition periods, an average of 4:30 h strength and jumping training was done per week.


Olympic games

At the beginning the international competitions in Nordic Combined were dominated by the Norwegians at will. In the first four Olympic Games, all medals were won by Norwegian combiners. Johan Grøttumsbråten even managed to successfully defend his title at the 1932 Winter Olympics . The dominance of the Norwegians was finally broken in the early 1960s. With Georg Thoma’s Olympic victory at the 1960 Games, the German combined athletes were also able to celebrate great successes at the following Games. The achievements of Ulrich Wehling , who became Olympic champion three times in a row in 1972, 1976 and 1980, are unique to date . At the following Olympic Games no other nation could put its stamp on the Nordic Combined. At the games of 1992 the French Fabrice Guy and Sylvain Guillaume achieved an unexpected double victory in front of a home crowd. For Fabrice Guy, however, this would remain the only major success. After two Norwegian victories by Fred Børre Lundberg and Bjarte Engen Vik , the 2002 Olympic Games were finally ruled by one man: Samppa Lajunen . In addition to winning the individual race and with the team, the Finn also won the Olympic title in the newly introduced sprint. With a total of three gold and two silver medals, he is the most successful combined athlete at the Olympic Games, ahead of the Austrian Felix Gottwald and the German Ulrich Wehling, who were practically denied further success due to the team and sprint competitions that were not held at the time. At the 2006 Olympic Games, Georg Hettich won the individual race for the first German individual gold medal in 26 years.

In the team competition that has been held since 1988, Austria is the most successful nation with two gold and three bronze medals ahead of Japan, which has so far won two gold medals. The nations Germany, Norway and Finland each achieved an Olympic victory in the team competition.

Medal table
space country gold silver bronze total
1 NorwayNorway Norway 11 8th 7th 26th
2 GermanyGermany Germany 1 7th 4th 7th 18th
3 FinlandFinland Finland 4th 8th 2 14th
4th AustriaAustria Austria 3 2 7th 12
5 FranceFrance France 2 1 1 4th
6th JapanJapan Japan 2 1 0 3
7th United StatesUnited States United States 1 3 0 4th
8th SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 1 2 1 4th
9 RussiaRussia Russia 2 0 1 3 4th
10 SwedenSweden Sweden 0 1 1 2
11 ItalyItaly Italy 0 0 1 1
11 PolandPoland Poland 0 0 1 1
1with all-German team (1956–1964), FR Germany (1968–1988) and German Democratic RepublicGermany team all GermanAll-German team Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany Germany Democratic Republic 1949GDR 
2with the Soviet Union (1956–1988)Soviet UnionSoviet Union 

World championships

Similar to the Olympic Games, the Nordic World Ski Championships were dominated by the Norwegians until the beginning of the Second World War. The successes of other nations, such as the Czech triple success at the World Championships in 1927, can be attributed to Norway's non-participation or participation without top athletes. With Johan Grøttumsbråten , Hans Vinjarengen and Oddbjørn Hagen there were three Norwegian double world champions. But even after the Second World War, the medals were largely distributed among the Scandinavians. At the Nordic World Ski Championships in 1966, the German combined athletes with Georg Thoma and Franz Keller were finally able to celebrate a double victory and thus the second title win by Gustav Berauer after 1938 . With Ulrich Wehling , Konrad Winkler (both starting for the GDR) and Hermann Weinbuch , the German athletes also convinced in the following years. From 1991 to 1997, the Norwegian Fred Børre Lundberg and the Japanese Kenji Ogiwara alternated in the individual world championship title. At the Nordic World Ski Championships in 1999, Bjarte Engen Vik won both the individual race and the newly held sprint. With his title defense in individual races and his successes with the Norwegian team, he is the most successful combiner at Nordic World Ski Championships with five gold and three silver medals (as of winter 2013/2014).

With his victory in the sprint at the Nordic World Ski Championships in 2001, Marko Baacke brought back an individual title to Germany after 16 years and thus gave the Nordic Combined an enormous boost in Germany. A title defense was not possible due to a training crash. As defending champion, he took part in the 2003 World Championships, but the injuries he suffered prevented him from doing well. Ronny Ackermann ensured further German successes with his 2003 singles victory and 2005 doubles in singles and sprints. Finally, Ackermann was also able to win the individual race at the 2007 World Cup. This makes him the first combiner in the history of the World Championships to be world champion in individual competitions three times in a row.

In the team competition, which has been held since 1982, the Norwegians lead with four wins, ahead of the Germans with three (FRG and GDR) and the Japanese, Austrians and Finns with two wins each (as of winter 2013/2014).

Nordic Combined World Cup

Several international competitions per season are also combined in this sport to form a World Cup competition. The leader in this ranking wears a yellow jersey, the best in each of the sub-disciplines ski jumping / cross-country skiing wears a blue or red jersey. The most successful combiner in the overall World Cup, which has been held since the 1983/84 season , is the German Eric Frenzel with five overall victories in a row. The Finn Hannu Manninen has achieved four overall victories in a row. Behind them are the Japanese Kenji Ogiwara and the French Jason Lamy Chappuis , who also celebrated her three titles in a row, as well as the German Ronny Ackermann with three triumphs. In addition to Eric Frenzel and Ronny Ackermann, only three Germans, Hermann Weinbuch , managed to win the overall World Cup. The Austrian Klaus Sulzenbacher , the Norwegian Bjarte Engen Vik and the Finn Samppa Lajunen have won the overall World Cup twice . The Sprint World Cup, which has been held since the 2000/01 season , was always won by the overall World Cup winner until the 2006/07 season , in which the French Jason Lamy Chappuis won it.

In the best list of World Cup winners (as of the end of the 2017/18 season), however, the Finn Hannu Manninen leads with 48 wins ahead of Eric Frenzel with 43 and Ronny Ackermann with 28. Hannu Manninen was able to dominate the World Cup for many years with these successes, but was at the big international events mostly to the tragic figure. It was not until the Nordic World Ski Championships in Sapporo in 2007 that he achieved the individual title he had hoped for at a major event.

Well-known Nordic combiners

Current title holders

National coach in the Nordic combined

  • National team coach Germany
    • 1990–1992 Konrad Winkler
    • since 1992 Hermann Weinbuch (head national coach) Staff: national coach Kai Bracht responsible for the jump. National coach Holger Bauroth responsible for cross-country skiing and national trainer Ronny Ackermann responsible for the organization.


There is not yet a World Cup for women, nor is a Nordic Combined competition for women at Nordic World Ski Championships or Olympic Winter Games . However, in the summer of 2014 in Oberstdorf the first competitions organized by the World Ski Federation FIS took place in the 1996–1999 age group. The participants at the FIS autumn conference in October 2014 in Zurich decided, among other things, to give the women’s competitions a higher priority. For the 2017/18 season, the FIS introduced the Women's Continental Cup, which already comprised eleven competitions in the second edition. In addition, a junior women competition has been held at the Nordic Junior World Ski Championships since 2019 . The first winner was Ayane Miyazaki from Japan . The inclusion of a competition in the program of the Winter Youth Olympic Games was seen as a big step in establishing the sport . At the first event in 2020 , Austrian Lisa Hirner won the gold medal. From the 2020/21 season there will also be a separate World Cup series and a competition at the World Championships.


In 1990 the NK competitions were held for the first time in a large city ( Moscow ).

The Black Forest Cup , which was fought for the first time in 1966, has been a successful competition for a long time.

See also

Web links

Commons : Nordic combined  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b
  2. Alpine two-man combination again ?; Subtitle: Change already in Badgastein? In: Arbeiter-Zeitung . Vienna November 18, 1956, p. 28 ( - the open online archive - digitized).
  3. Nader, GA (2006), Concurrent strength and endurance training: from molecules to man, Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. , 38 (11), 1965-1970.
  4. Rønnestad, BR, Kojedal, Ø., Losnegard, T. et al. (2012), Effect of heavy strength training on muscle thickness, strength, jump performance and endurance performance in well-trained Nordic Combined athletes, Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. , 112 (6), 2341-2352.
  5. Tønnessen, E., Rasdal, V., Svendsen, IS et al. (2016), Concurrent development of endurance capacity and explosiveness: The training characteristics of world-class Nordic Combined athletes. Int. J. Sports Physiol. Perform. , 11 (5): 643-651.
  6. Arnd Krüger : Nordic combination. Competitive sport 46 (2016) 2, 16-17.
  7. FIS Race Director Lasse Ottesen on the FIS plans for a possible World Cup for women at on March 28, 2015
  8. It's getting serious for the nordic combined athletes from December 11, 2018
  9. Cross-country skiing magazine (2002), issue 2