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Nordic Combined, Oslo 2022 World Cup. Double race on the sacred snows of Holmenkollen


The Nordic Combined World Cup is preparing to face another of its “Classic Monument” . In fact, over the weekend they compete in Oslo , Norway. As usual, the competition will be an integral part of the Holmenkollen skifestival (or Holmenkollrennene), a historic event born in 1892 consisting of a series of competitions belonging to all Nordic disciplines .

The combined has been included in the program since the inaugural edition and has rarely missed the appointment since then. In 130 years of history there are only 9 “holes” winters for combinatists. Five of them due to the Second World War (1941-1945), one due to regulatory complications related to the Covid pandemic (2021), three following insurmountable weather problems (in 1896 and 1898 there was no snow, in 1954 instead there was too much wind). The case was different in 2009, when the event was staged, but not in Oslo, but in Vikersund . The situation arose once and for all as the modernization and renovation work was in full swing on the Holmenkollen hill ahead of the 2011 Nordic World Ski Championships.

Without prejudice to the ultra-secular tradition of the event, for the purposes of the presentation, only the so-called first level competitions are taken into consideration, i.e. those valid for the Olympic Games, the World Championships and the World Cup.
In 2022 the maximum combined circuit will stop in the Norwegian capital for the 37th winter . This means that the Temple of Nordic disciplines has always been present on the calendar, except for the 2008-09 and 2020-21 seasons, precisely due to the aforementioned causes of force majeure.

Nordic combined World Cup ranking 2021-2022: Riiber wins in Lahti and shortens on Lamparter

To date, 52 individual top-level competitions have been staged in Oslo. Only Lahti can boast more (54), but the Finnish location should be matched this weekend. Of the aforementioned fifty-two races, 46 were valid for the Crystal Ball, 5 were included in four different editions of the World Championships (1930, 1966, 1982, 2011) and 1 in the 1952 Winter Olympic Games.
So far – between the World Cup and the World Championships – twenty-eight athletes have at least one success on these snows. Among them the Norwegian Bjarte Engen Vik stands out indisputably, the only man capable of winning 7 times (once in 1996, two in 1997, one in 1998, one in 1999 and two in 2000).

There are four active combinatists who have excelled in Holmenkollen. There are 4 affirmations for Akito Watabe (2012, 2015, 2017, 2018), while Jarl Magnus Riiber (2016, 2019, 2020) has excelled on 3 occasions. Eric Frenzel celebrated 2 successes (2011 world champion gold followed by a race in 2013). Finally, there is 1 acute for Johannes Rydzek (2014).
The more attentive will have already noticed how all the competitions staged in Oslo in the last six years have been won either by Watabe or by Riiber, who, from 2015 onwards, have collected three wins each.

Looking instead to the podiums , there are ten men still in action to boast top-three placings in the Norwegian capital. This ranking is also led by Akito Watabe , paired however by Frenzel .
6 – WATABE Akito [JPN] (4-2-0)
6 – FRENZEL Eric [GER] (2-2-2)
3 – RIIBER Jarl Magnus [NOR] (3-0-0)
3 – RYDZEK Johannes [GER] (1-2-0)
2 – RIEßLE Fabian [GER] (0-2-0)
2 – HEROLA Ilkka [FIN] (0-1-1)
1 – WATABE Yoshito [JPN] (0-0-1)
1 – PITTIN Alessandro [ITA] (0-0-1)
1 – SEIDL Mario [AUT] (0-0-1)
1 – BJØRNSTAD Espen [NOR] (0-0-1)

Looking at the various national movements, it is clear that the landlady Norway is unquestionably the most successful country ever, but is hunted by the German movement as regards the podiums.
36 (21-15-17) – NORWAY
35 (10-12-13) – GERMANY [All-Inclusive]
20 (5-7-8) – AUSTRIA
20 (3-12-5) – FINLAND
15 (6-4-5) – JAPAN
7 (4-2-1) – FRANCE
3 (2-0-1) – USA
2 (0-0-2) – SWITZERLAND
1 (1-0-0) – USSR
1 (0-0-1) – ITALY
So a podium for Italy , arrived on March 14, 2015, the day in which Alessandro Pittin finished 3rd in the final won by Akito Watabe in front of Johannes Rydzek.