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For centuries in the snow-covered North, skis were required to chase game and gather firewood in winter time. With long distances between the small, isolated communities and hard, snowy winters, skiing also became important as means of keeping in social contact. The word “ski” is a Norwegian word which comes from the Old Norse word “skid”, a split length of wood.
The famous Holmenkollen ski festival started in 1892 where the main attraction was the Nordic combined event. The festival proved popular and soon attracted skiers from Sweden and other neighbouring countries. In fact King Olav V of Norway was himself an able jumper and competed in the Holmenkollen Ski Festival in the 1920s.
Nordic combined individual events have featured in every Games since the first Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix in 1924. Unsurprisingly, the sport has been dominated by the Norwegians, supported by the Finns. Indeed, it was not until 1960 that the Nordic grip on Olympic triumphs in this discipline was finally broken when West German Georg Thoma won the gold medal at Squaw Valley in 1960.