Text and captions courtesy of Associated Press
A sport that has its beginnings in the late 1800s when Norwegian soldiers began informal competitions, the event first featured cross-country skiing following by ski jumping, but was reversed in the 1950s. Under the Gundersen Method, which has been used since the Calgary Games in 1988 and is named after its creator, Norway's Gunnar Gundersen, starting places for the cross-country are determined based on the ski jumping results. Once the jumping points are totaled, they are converted into time penalties, and generally, a 10-point lead provides for a one-minute start in the cross-country race. At Sochi, the Nordic combined opens on Feb. 12 at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Centre with the men's individual normal hill and a 10-kilometer cross-country race.