Nordic Combined is a winter sport in which athletes compete in ski jumping and cross-country skiing. This sport demands endurance and strength for cross-country skiing, and requires physical strength and technical control for ski jumping.
The jumping portion occurs first followed by a free technique cross-country race. The break between the jumping and the cross-country race can be as little as 35 minutes, or as long as a few hours. Known as a “Gundersen” or pursuit start, the jumping results generate the starting seed for the cross-country race that follows, with the second and remaining athletes beginning seconds or even minutes after the best jumper. Using pack-racing strategies, the athletes cluster into “trains” that chase down other athlete trains. The winner of the Nordic combined event is the first athlete across the cross-country finish line.