International FIS Nordic Combined study done in Trondheim
As the first winter sports discipline ever, Nordic Combined has just seen a completely new initiative last weekend in Trondheim. A study has been conducted by FIS in cooperation with the Olympiatoppen Olympic Elite Training Centre in which 26 of Nordic Combined's top athletes from 13 nations underwent extensive tests of their levels of performance in ski jumping and cross-country.
Four jumps on the force plate were done, two with maximum power and two imitations to compare the two and a high speed camera was set up in the jump hill during the competition to collect data on the ski jumping part. A 3 x 4 minute interval on the big treadmill on roller skis with heart rate monitor and lactate test as well as an analysis of the roller skiing technique was the first part of data collection in the cross-country part which was complemented by a heart rate monitor and GPS during the race in Trondheim.
"The main reason and thought behind it was of course to look at where Nordic Combined is going in the course of the next five years, in terms of rules or different kinds of equipment. We are always compared to ski jumping and always compared to cross-country but Nordic Combined is a unique discipline which is not always comparable to the two others, so we needed some data collected from our own athletes", Race Director Lasse Ottesen explains. "We have had the feeling that Nordic Combined is going a little bit in the direction of cross-country as a tendency which means that the cross-country is becoming more important than the jumping part. This is why we wanted to do some analyses and tests to get some data feedback on this before the discuss this issue in the Committee."
Of course the study is also used in terms of transfer of knowledge, to open it up to the public, present more data and raise the general interest. The results are open and will be distributed to each nation with the data of the Norwegian team to compare to.
"It is important in terms of discussing what we need to do for the future and I hope we will be able to come back next year to do the same", Ottesen continued. "We will analyse the results now together with the test personnel and also internally for FIS and present the relevant parts for the Committee. We might establish a small working group to analyse the results in terms of the coming season regarding equipment or the points system."