Nordic combined: Eric Frenzel planning to soar even higher

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Five-time World Cup winner and Olympic gold medalist Eric Frenzel will be aiming to continue his dominance of Nordic combined at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The 29-year-old German won the normal hill event in Sochi and finished 10th in the large hill competition after falling ill. He came back to help Germany win silver in the team event.


The only athlete to win both the normal and large hill events at one Olympics was Finland’s Samppa Lajunen, who did it at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.

Lajunen claimed a third gold that year as a member of Finland’s 4x5-kilometer team.


Over a 10-year career on the World Cup circuit, Frenzel has 42 individual wins and eight team titles to go with three Olympic medals, which also include silver in Sochi and bronze in Vancouver.

He won the World Cup for five consecutive years from 2013 and has five World Championship titles. T

Germany's Johannes Rydzek upstaged compatriot Eric Frenzel at the Olympic test events and won four golds at the Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti a few weeks later.

RADITIONAL POWERHOUSE: Nordic combined events have been contested since the first Winter Olympics in 1924. Norway has dominated the sport with 30 medals overall and a total of 13 gold medals.

In Pyeongchang, athletes will contest the 10-kilometer normal hill, the 10-kilometer large hill and the team large hill with a 4x5-kilometer team event.

The sport has been exclusively contested by men at the Olympics since its debut.

But that could soon change. Officials of the International Ski Federation are in discussions to have women contest Nordic combined at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.

MEDAL FAVORITES: Frenzel’s main competition in Pyeongchang is likely to come from Norwegians Jan Schmid and Joergen Graabak, who won gold in the large hill event in Sochi.

RISING STARS: Johannes Rydzek. The 26-year-old German skier upstaged Frenzel at the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic test events and won four golds at the Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti, Finland, a few weeks later.


A month after being crowned world junior champion in Hinterzarten, Germany, in January of 2010, Rydzek made his Olympic debut in Vancouver and finished on the podium, helping the German quartet win bronze in the team event.

COMEBACK BID: France’s Jason Lamy-Chappuis, the Vancouver 2010 men’s individual normal hill-10K champion, retired after the Sochi Games to train as an airline pilot but is making a comeback at the age of 31 and will compete at Pyeongchang.

Lamy-Chappuis has won 26 individual World Cup events and three consecutive overall World Cup titles between 2010 and 2012. He has won 10 world championship medals in total, including five golds.

The ski jumping competition will take place at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre and the Alpensia Cross-Country Centre, which is located in the Pyeongchang Mountain Cluster.

Bryan Fletcher celebrates winning the U.S. trials on Dec. 30, 2017 in Park City, Utah.

American to watch

Bryan Fletcher: The Steamboat Springs, Colo., native made his second straight Olympic team by overtaking four competitors at the U.S. Olympic trials and holding off his younger brother Taylor on the 10K cross-country course at Utah Olympic Park. Fletcher, 31, a childhood cancer survivor, was seventh at a World Cup event in Ramsau, Austria, his best individual finish in almost two years, and his win at the trials solidified his position as the top American.