Traditional powers claim gold in Nordic Combined

26 February 2014 19:25
Olympic champion Jørgen Graabak
Olympic champion Jørgen Graabak -
NordicFocus

In the three Nordic Combined events in Sochi (two individual, one team competition), the excitement was on as medals were split among Norway, Germany, Austria and Japan.

Biggest Surprise

The biggest surprise of the Games was 22-year-old Jørgen Graabak (NOR) taking the gold in the Individual Gundersen competition from the large hill without ever having won a Continental or World Cup event before. Graabak delivered a smart and strong race, taking the lead in the last uphill of the course and grabbing the gold medal. Two days later, he led the Norwegian squad to a gold medal in the team event, making him a double gold medallist in his Olympic debut.

Best Storyline

37-year-old U.S. veteran Todd Lodwick participated in his record sixth Olympics. Her earned his berth at the U.S. Olympic trials in December and then almost was not able to go to Sochi after crashing at the World Cup event in Chaux-Neuve (FRA), just four weeks before the Olympics. But Lodwick sped up an estimated six weeks of recovery time for his injured shoulder. Chosen as the U.S. Flag Bearer in the Opening Ceremony, Lodwick claimed sixth place in the team event in what may have been his last Olympic Games.

Memorable moments

Some memorable stories took place in Sochi including Norway’s Magnus Moan returning to an Olympic podium after eight years.  Akito Watabe (JPN) finally won a well-deserved silver medal after coming in fourth three times in a row at last year's World Championships. Olympic newcomers Fabian Riessle, Magnus Krog and Jørgen Graabak earned precious medals in their first Olympic appearance. There were also the success stories of reserve athletes such as Graabak, Gruber and Kircheisen who came into the teams after the first individual competitions and went home with one or more medals (or in Kircheisen's case fourth place).

Best venue moment

Among the best moments at RusSki Gorki Jumping Centre were the great jumps made by local hero Evgeniy Klimov which made the patriotic crowd go crazy. But most onlookers agreed that one of the top moments was the celebration of the Norwegian team. After winning the gold medal in the team event, the quartet ran a third of the way up the ski jump and did a belly slide down to the delight of the crowd.

Ones to watch for PyeongChang 2018

Olympic Champion Jørgen Graabak has a lot of time to collect more victories, titles and medals with just 22 years of age, just as bronze medalist Fabian Riessle and his teammate Johannes Rydzek , Finland's Ilkka Herola, Slovenia's Marjan Jelenko or Estonia's Kristjan Ilves, as well as Russian jumping sensation Evgeniy Klimov will be athletes to watch out for in the future. On top of that, superstars Eric Frenzel and Jason Lamy Chappuis are young enough to compete at the top level in Korea.

Medals table Nordic Combined

 

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Total

NOR

2

1

1

4

GER

1

1

1

3

JPN

0

1

0

1

AUT

0

0

1

1

To view all medallists, click here. http://www.sochi2014.com/en/nordic-combined-medals