Norway's capital Oslo is one of the most traditional places for winter sports you can find. With a population of about 600.000, Oslo and its winter sports arena in Holmenkollen have been the setting for a great number of ski events, the latest major one being the 2011 FIS Nordic World Championships. As the country's main biathlon and Nordic skiing venue, it also hosts annual World Cup tournaments of the ski jumpers, cross-country skiers and of course of the Nordic Combined athletes. The Holmenkollen Ski Festival is traditinonally held in March and has been taking place every year since 1892. Oslo has been the host city of the FIS Nordic World Championships in 1930, 1966, 1982 and 2011 and also been Olympic host city in 1952.
Oslo offers two main hills, the HS 134 large hill in Holmenkollen and the HS 106 Midstubakken. The Holmenkollbakken has been rebuilt 19 times, for example with a stone take-off in 1910, an in-run superstructure in 1914 and a new superstructure in 1928. Between 2008 and 2010 the old hill was completely demolished and rebuild with a construction by Julien de Smedt. This included the construction of a new ski stadium next to Holmenkollbakken and Midstubakken and upgrades to the Holmenkollen tram line. The cross-country races take place directly next to the Holmenkollbakken which offers a beautiful backdrop for the skiers and spectators.
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Only five days to go until the first competition of the 2014/15 winter and then the Nordic Combined athletes will be back to battling out who the toughest man on skis, who the ultimate winter athlete is. Two big season highlights are waiting for all participants, promising close fights and radiant winners: the second edition of the Nordic Combined TRIPLE in Seefeld and the World Championships in Falun.
It's always special to compete at Holmenkollen, Oslo and with the Norwegian King in attendance and the King's Cup as a special token to be taken home by the winner, so the stakes were high in this second-but-last Individual Gundersen competition of the winter 2013/14.
Eric Frenzel shows no signs of stopping! Even in the difficult conditions at today's PCR in Oslo which had to be postponed to the evening due to the strong wind and extreme fog, the German showed a convincing jumping performance.
The World Cup season of 2013/14 is slowly taking the last turn leading into the home stretch and even with Germany's Eric Frenzel already having clinched the big crystal globe of the overall world Cup, the finale of this season promises to be thrilling. With three last stops in Scandinavia, the fight between Germany and Norway for the Nations Cup will be decided on one of the opponent's home turf. Only 27 points separate the teams before going in the last four competitions of the winter.
Right after the Nordic Combined Triple, the next highlight will follow suit: the Olympic Games in Sochi. Part II of the extended season preview will take you to all stops of the later part of the winter!