Host City: Salt Lake City, United States
Venue(s): Soldier Hollow, Wasatch Mountain State Park; Utah Olympic Park, Park City, Utah
Date Started: February 16, 2002
Date Finished: February 17, 2002
Format: Normal hill ski jumping and 4 x 5 kilometre relay skiing; placements determined by points table. Four members per team, with all ski jump scores to count towards team total. Pursuit-style cross-country relay race, with skiers leaving in order of their finish in the ski jumping, so that final placement determined by final placement in cross-country ski race.
At the 2001 World Championships, the medalists had been Norway, Austria, and Finland, in that order. Norway was the defending gold medalist and were considered the favorites, but they were without [Bjarte Engen Vik], who had retired after the 2001 season. The jumping was postponed two days because of high winds. When it started, the jump was won by the Finns, with a 44 second margin over Austria, but in third-place was the surprising United States, which had never won a medal in Nordic combined at the Olympics or a World Championship. Vik’s absence was too much for Norway to overcome and they finished the jumping in 10th, and last, place. In the relay, Finland was never headed and never seriously challenged, although Austria closed the margin slightly on the opening leg, only to fall back on the second. Finland eventually won by 7.5 seconds, with Germany closing fast for the silver medal, edging out Austria, who placed third, 11.0 seconds behind Finland. Norway had the fastest time of the relay but could only move up to fifth place. The United States skied a solid relay, posting the fourth-fastest ski time, but it dropped them back to fourth place overall, and off the podium.