Olympic season 2013/14 - ready, set, go!
Part II: The road to Sochi and the overall World Cup
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!
Oberstdorf: 25.01. & 26.01.
Wedged in between the Triple and the next highlight, the Olympics, the German organiser of Oberstdorf has found its way back into the Nordic Combined calendar. Oberstdorf came to the rescue two years ago when there was no snow in Schonach. The Norwegian team and Mikko Kokslien are the defending title holders of the Individual Gundersen and team event, but rest assured, the German local heroes, spearheaded by Oberstdorf-resident Johannes Rydzek will be out for revenge. Rydzek will surely be going for a winter podium at his hometown after he won at least one Summer Grand Prix competition in Oberstdorf the past four years.
Sochi 2014: 12.02., 18.02. & 20.02.
It will be sports history when the Nordic Combined athletes go to Sochi to find their new Olympic Champions in the Individual Gundersen from the large and small hill as well as in the team event. The reigning gold medalists Jason Lamy Chappuis and Bill Demong will want to have their say in the redistribution of the honours, as well as the winning team of Austria.
Lahti: 28.02. & 01.03.
The final stretch of the season closes the circle and goes back to Scandinavia again. First up is the 90th edition of the Lahti Ski Games which again brings all three disciplines to one venue. Last year, all top Nordic Combined finishers were German with Eric Frenzel winning the individual and Frenzel and Rydzek succeeding in the Team Sprint. Will we see a revival of this German glory or can somebody else take the win?
Another returnee on the Nordic Combined calendar, Trondheim, welcomes the Nordic all-rounders back to the northern part of Norway. With Magnus Moan, Jan Schmid, Joergen Graabak, Magnus Krog and Haavard Klemetsen all living and training in and around Trondheim, this should be a true home game for the majority of the Norwegian team, drawing huge interest from the local crowd.
A trip to the cradle of Nordic skiing, to Holmenkollen in Oslo, will of course not be left off the winter 2013/14 calendar. The Individual Gundersen competition offers one chance to the athletes to get their hand on the prestigious King's Cup after Eric Frenzel and Jason Lamy Chappuis split the two wins last year.
Falun: 15.03. & 16.03.
The last race of 2013/14 is the World Championship test in Falun, Sweden. After 14 years away, the Nordic Combined World Cup is back in Sweden and some athletes from the late 90s are still competing: Todd Lodwick and Mario Stecher. Can the U.S. veteran repeat a position like his 1999 seventh rank in the Sprint competition? Or will Stecher show the others the back of his head like in his 1998 Sprint win?
One thing is certain: there will not be much time for rest as one highlight chases the next during the winter of 2013/14, in one of Nordic Combined's most exciting seasons ever!