Nordic Combined Skiing
What is Nordic Combined Skiing exactly?
Formats and variations currently used in the World Cup are:
Individual Gundersen: (The Gundersen method is a method in the Nordic combined developed by Gunder Gundersen, a Nordic combined athlete from Norway, that was first used in the 1980s. This technique turned the cross country skiing part of the Nordic combined from a point-based system where all athletes ski in an interval start manner and whoever earned the most points with the ski jumping part of the Nordic combined won the event to a pursuit race for the cross country skiing part where whoever crossed the finish line first in the cross country skiing part of the Nordic combined event won the competition.
The system is now also used in the modern pentathlon in which the start times of the final event (a cross-country run) are also staggered so that the first to cross the finish line is the winner of the entire event. World Athletics announced on 7 December 2018 that the 2020 World Under-20 Athletics Championship will adopt the Gundersen method for the decathlon and heptathlon for the final event).
The competition starts with one competition jump from a normal or large hill. Later on the same day, the 10 km (6.21 mi) cross-country race takes place. The winner starts at 00:00:00 and all other athletes start with time disadvantages according to their jumping score. The first to cross the finish line is the winner. A variation of this is the Final Individual Gundersen, consisting of two jumps and 15 km (9.32 mi) of cross-country skiing in free technique.
Nordic Combined Triple: introduced in the 2013–14 FIS Nordic Combined World Cup, it features three different events on three days and one overall winner who is awarded extra World Cup points and prize money:
Day 1: 1 jump & 10 km (6.21 mi) Prologue
Day 2: 1 jump & 15 km (9.32 mi) Individual Gundersen (Top 50 from Day 1’s competition)
Day 3: 2 jumps & 20 km (12.43 mi) Final Individual Gundersen (Top 30 from Day 2’s competition)
Team Event: introduced in the 1980s, one team consists of four athletes who have one competition jump each. The total score of all four athletes determines the time disadvantages for the start of the ensuing 5 km (3.11 mi) cross-country race. The first team to cross the finish line wins.
Team Sprint: teams consist of two athletes each. In the ski jumping part, every athlete makes one competition jump like in the Individual Gundersen or Team Event formats and the time behind for the start of the successive cross-country race. The team to arrive first at the finish line wins the competition.
Included in the rules but currently not used in World Cup:
Penalty Race: instead of adding a time disadvantage, distance is added to the cross-country part.
Mass Start: the only format in which the cross-country part takes place before the ski jumping. All competitors start into a 10 km (6.21 mi) cross-country race in free technique at the same time. The final cross-country times are then converted into points for the ski jumping part. The winner is determined in a points-based system.
Events in the Olympics are the sprint K120 individual, ski jumping K90 (70m), and Team/4x5km.
It is the last sport on the Olympic program that is contested only by men.
The Safety and Injuries:
While the majority of women don’t compete in Nordic combined skiing, some do, but not enough.
Women’s Nordic Combined Struggles to Take Off
I have taken some snippets from various articles to create this content
Competitors were supposed to have their shot at Olympic glory in 2022. Now, 2026 looks more likely as the sport tries to reach a critical mass of quality.
Nordic combined is the only Olympic sport, summer or winter, without a women’s division.
The hope from international organizers was to have it in the next Olympics, in 2022 in Beijing. But four years into a plan to fast-track the sport’s growth, the schedule has been derailed, prompting questions about what sports belong in the Olympics, and when they should be added.
It was decided in early-November 2016 that women’s competitions were to be established at FIS-level starting during the second half of the 2010s with inclusion at world championships starting in 2021 and at the Olympic Winter Games in 2022. But the Olympic debut for women in 2022 was cancelled by IOC in July 2018 which was asking for more development time for this discipline and then likely be added in 2026. In May 2018 the FIS Congress made several decisions regarding the inclusion of women in the sport of Nordic Combined. As of 2019, women will be officially included in FIS Junior World Championships. It was confirmed that 2021 will mark the start of the FIS World Championship program for women (senior level). 2018 marks the second year of the Continental Cup program for women, which will include a total of 12 events.
As a little girl, growing up in a family of cross-country skiers, Tara Geraghty-Moats always dreamed of becoming a “combiner”.
A junior skier with a unique aptitude for both cross-country and ski jumping, the natural step would have been for Geraghty-Moats to specialise in Nordic combined. The only problem? The event didn’t exist.
As Geraghty-Moats explains, while men’s Nordic combined has been part of the Olympic programme since 1924, the women’s competition was not an internationally recognised discipline until 2016.
“I’ve always wanted to do Nordic combined since I was a little girl, and I didn’t have the opportunity growing up, so at 16 I had to choose between cross-country and ski jumping,” said the 26-year-old from New Hampshire, USA. “It was really hard and I went back and forth between the two sports until a year and a half ago when I could finally become an international Nordic combined.”
Despite its late start, women’s Nordic combined has flourished since 2016. Geraghty-Moats estimates that it has grown by about 40 per cent over the past two northern-hemisphere winters, as countries begin to pour resources into the fledgling discipline, identifying a possible fresh source of medals.
One of the reasons for the investment is the inclusion of women’s Nordic combined on the programme of the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Lausanne 2020. With women’s and men’s individual events and two mixed team competitions on the schedule, the discipline’s addition symbolises the International Olympic Committee’s pledge to ensure gender equality at the Games.
And as Lausanne 2020 Athlete Role Model Geraghty-Moats explains, the upcoming YOG will be a watershed moment in terms of gender equality on the Olympic stage.
“It’s really historic; it’s the first Olympic event, youth or senior, that is going to be gender-equal on the winter side,” she said.
“Any time that happens, it’s monumental. I’m in a pretty unique position because women’s Nordic combined is such a developing sport that there are some very young athletes on the Continental Cup circuit. I’ve actually been competing with some of the girls in Lausanne, so it’ll be really special to see them make history, and to support and guide them through.”
Right now, Geraghty-Moats is the discipline’s star name after an outstanding 2018/2019 season, in which she won the women’s Nordic combined Continental Cup after taking 10 of the 11 titles on offer.
“It’s something I just feel like I’m genetically predisposed to be good at, in terms of my body type,” she said. “The sport is actually a pretty crazy combination when you think about it – Nordic skiing and ski jumping. It’s sort of comparable to biathlon in that it combines two completely different sports for a more exciting, diverse sport in one.
“For skiing you need endurance, and you use slower-twitch muscles a lot more, and for ski jumping you want explosive, fast-twitch muscles. To combine the two, you have to really focus on quality over quantity for the cross-country, so you can stay quick and explosive for the ski jumping.”
Having also dabbled in biathlon, as well as competing on the World Cup circuit as a ski jumper, Geraghty-Moats is uniquely well-rounded in the world of women’s Nordic combined, which gives her a crucial edge over many of her rivals. And she believes that the discipline’s growing platform will enable many of the stars of the future to be equally versatile.
“Hopefully the legacy I can leave for the next generation is that a young girl who wants to be a combiner at the age of eight can now just train as a combined skier and have the Olympics as a dream in the future,” she said. “That’s what I’m trying to make happen, that’s the end goal.”
It isn’t only women’s Nordic combined making its debut at Lausanne 2020. Women’s doubles luge – in which teams consist of pairs of sliders making separate runs down the track, with the fastest combined time winning – is also a new addition to the programme, after the introduction of the men’s doubles event at Innsbruck 2012. Ice hockey’s fast and thrilling mixed-NOC 3×3 format will also be on show at the Games, with teams competing in women’s and men’s competitions.
Those involved will be hoping Lausanne 2020 is the Launchpad from which their event earns new-found public attention and eventually a spot on the Olympic Winter Games stage.
“Lausanne 2020 is one of the appropriate steps that the sport is ready for,” Geraghty-Moats said. “The Winter Olympics are a very, very special event and not something that a sport can just be added to. The reason we hold the Olympics in such high regard is that the level of excellence is unmatched, so you can’t just add a sport that’s undeveloped.
Some interesting reading:
“That being said, I think women’s Nordic combined is well on its way to hopefully being included.”
Some more reading:
“Since each athlete must carry out both ski jumping, which requires high technique and audacity, and cross-country skiing, which takes great physical strength, it is one of the toughest ski disciplines and offers only men’s competition and not one for women.”
The rate of participation of women in the Olympic Games has been increasing since their first participation in 1900. Some sports are uniquely for women, others are contested by both sexes, while some older sports remain for men only. Studies of media coverage of the Olympics consistently show differences in the ways in which women and men are described and the ways in which their performances are discussed. The representation of women on the International Olympic Committee has run well behind the rate of female participation, and it continues to miss its target of a 20% minimum presence of women on their committee.
Historically, female athletes have been treated, portrayed and looked upon differently from their male counterparts. In the early days of the Olympic Games, many NOCs sent fewer female competitors because they would incur the cost of a chaperone, which was not necessary for male athletes. While inequality in participation has declined throughout history, women are still sometimes treated differently at the Games themselves. For example, in 2012, the Japan women’s national soccer team travelled to the Games in economy class, while the men’s team travelled in business class. Although women compete in all sports at the summer Olympics, there are still 39 events that are not open to women.
Whilst the obvious dangers of the sport for both men and women, discrimination, sexism, and racism are always here to stay.
Also noted is the fact that women, physically, are not as strong or resilient as men.
Women’s skiing events are hardly aired on television and the prize money is way below what the men are earning.
Also when women injure themselves, they will often hear comments of “I told you, women can’t take the pressure or that’s why women shouldn’t ski jump. They are much weaker than men so they can’t do the distance”
Companies are very reluctant to sponsor women in Nordic Combined, with the trepidation that women will badly injure themselves and this will negatively affect the company’s reputations.
There is very little marketing supporting women in Nordic Combined. Women very rarely are found to be marketable, in that, the men get all the credit.
You will very rarely find women in Nordic Combined, in magazines, on television, on social media, in branded clothing and they also have difficulty finding the right fitting equipment. Sports apparel for women in ski jumping is difficult to find, so a lot of women are having to take men’s equipment and size them accordingly to fit themselves.
Sadly, you will find audiences of men and women and competitors, mocking, ridiculing, swearing, shaming, putting women down and even spitting on them.
So all of this makes it very difficult for women to enter this arena.
The Dangers And Safety For Ski Sports In General
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