Host City: Vancouver, Canada
Venue(s): Whistler Olympic Park, Whistler
Date Started: February 23, 2010
Date Finished: February 23, 2010
Format: Large hill ski jumping and 4 x 5 kilometre relay skiing; placements determined by points table. Four members per team, with only one ski jump. 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.
Japan had surprisingly won the 2009 World Championships, but the 2009-10 World Cup events had been led by Austria, Germany, and the United States, who were expected to contest the medals. The United States had never won an Olympic medal in Nordic combined prior to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, but Johnny Spillane, Bill Demong, and Todd Lodwick had all been in the World Cup top 10 during the season and Spillane had already won silver in the normal hill event. But at the 2009 World Championships, Lodwick had won the normal hill and mass start events, with Demong winning the large hill event. Spillane was a former world champion, having won on the large hill in 2003. They likely would have won the 2009 team event at the Worlds, except that Demong was disqualified for forgetting to wear his bib in the jump.
Finland led the jumping, with the United States second, Austria third, and Japan fourth, but the Finnish skiers were not strong in cross-country, were not considered contenders for the gold medal, and they would drop back to seventh overall. The team event ski run began during a light snowstorm that increased in intensity throughout the race. The United States led after two legs of the run, but on the third leg, Austria’s Felix Gottwald put his team into a narrow lead over the Americans. On the final leg Austrian Mario Stecher and American Demong fought it out, exchanging the lead several times, but Stecher pulled away near the end to bring Austria the gold medal. Austria had the best overall ski time, followed by Germany, which pulled up for the bronze medal.