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2018 Winter Olympics: Understanding Nordic combined and ski jumping

With speeds close to 80 mph, skiers have been known to jump close to 300 yards

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Nordic combined is a sport that combines cross-country skiing and ski jumping. 

The earliest records of these sports date back to the early 19th century, but there is evidence that the two could date back to the late 18th century. 

Both sports have had events at every Winter Games since the first in Charmonix, France in 1924.

There are three events for Nordic combined at the 2018 Winter Games, taking place at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre and the Alpensia Cross-Country Centre and four ski jumping events separate from the those included in the Nordic combined. There are no women's events for the Nordic combined.

Ski jumping -- Normal hill

Men's date: Feb. 10, 9:35 p.m.
Women's date: Feb. 12, 9:50 p.m.

Here's how it works:

After a qualification round Thursday, qualifying skiers progress to the normal hill. Alpensia Ski Jumping Stadium's normal hill is measured to be 98 meters. Each competitor descends down a specially built ramp, called an in-run, launching themselves into the air. The goal is to land on the hill as close as possible to the K-point as possible. The K-point is also known as the critical point and is placed where the hill is steepest. 

Points are given out in terms of style and form, body weight, gate factors and wind conditions. Body weight factors into the score similar to a handicap, as a lighter jumper can frequently jump further. Gate factors and wind conditions are considered as potential compensation based on the environmental conditions that the skier has no control over. 

Only jumps where the jumper lands without touching the ground with their hands are counted.

Deductions in points are made for every meter away from the K-point the skier lands. 

The skier with the most points wins.

The longest jump completed on this hill was performed by Slovenian skier Jure Šinkovec, who jumped 114.5 meters in 2016.

Ski jumping -- Men's individual large hill

Date: Feb. 17, 9:30 p.m.

Here's how it works:

The rules to the large hill jump are the same as the normal hill, but it's performed on a larger hill. Alpensia Ski Jumping Stadium's large hill is measured to be 125 meters. 

There is no women's event for the large hill event this year.

The longest jump completed on this hill was performed by Austrian skier Mario Seidl, who jumped 142 meters in 2017.

Ski jumping -- Men's team large hill

Date: Feb. 19, 9:30 p.m.

Here's how it works:

The team competition uses the same large hill using teams of four skiers. After a trial round, there are two competition rounds. Each skier jumps twice, totaling eight jumps per team. Only eight teams make it to the second competitive round. A team's score is calculated by combining the score of all eight jumps and the team with the highest score wins.

There is no women's event for the team large hill event this year.

Nordic combined - Men's individual normal hill

Date: Feb. 14, 3 p.m.

Here's how it works:

There are two portions for the Nordic combined, ski jumping and cross-country skiing. Skiers will start by jumping the normal hill, followed by a staggered 10-kilometer cross-country race. Racers are staggered based on the points received during jumping with the skier who had the highest scoring jump racing first. 

The first skier to cross the finish line in the cross-country race wins the gold medal.

Nordic combined -- Men's individual large hill

Date: Feb. 20, 7 p.m.

Here's how it works:

Treated the same way as the men's individual normal hill, but this event swaps out the 109 meter normal hill for the 142 meter large hill. The jump is followed by a staggered 10-kilometer cross-country race where the first skier to cross the finish line wins the gold medal.

Nordic combined -- Men's team relay

Date: Feb. 22, 4:30 p.m.

Here's how it works:

Each team consists of four athletes who each jump once with the total score of all four skiers determining the team's start time in the relay. Each skier races one 5-kilometer leg of the relay with whoever crosses the finish line first determining the winning team.