Ski competitions began in Norway in the 19th century and the country's famous Holmenkollen ski festival was first held in 1892. The main focus was originally Nordic combined events but a separate cross-country race was introduced at the Holmenkollen festival in 1900.
Nordic Combined has been part of every Winter Olympics. The individual event has been contested since the first Games and the team event was added in 1988. The sprint competition, which uses the large hill, made its Olympic debut in Salt Lake City in 2002.
The Olympic competition features men only. A women's world championship was held for the first time last year, with Lindsey Van of the U.S. taking the title.
The individual normal hill competition has been shortened since the 2006 Winter Games, with competitors now taking one jump instead of two and racing over 10 kms instead of 15.
Individual normal hill - combines one jump from the normal hill (90 metres high) and a 10-km freestyle cross-country race on the same day. Jumps are awarded points for length and style by the judges.
The points leader from the ski jumping section starts first in the race with the others staggered behind him, according to time differences calculated on the official Gundersen Table which is used to translate points into time. The table is named after the man who devised it, Norwegian Gunnar Gundersen. The first person to cross the line wins the gold.
Individual large hill - combines one jump from the large hill (120 metres high) with a 10-km freestyle cross-country race on the same day. Again, the leader from the ski jumping starts first in the race.
Team event. Four-man teams compete in a ski jumping competition on the normal hill followed by a 4x5-km freestyle relay race. Each team member jumps once and the team's total score determines the starting order in the relay, with the best team starting first. The same four athletes must compete in both sections of the competition. The first man across the finish line wins for his team.
Individual Gundersen (normal hill): Georg Hettich (Germany)
Sprint (large hill): Felix Gottwald (Austria)
Team: (Austria - Michael Gruber/Christoph Bieler/Felix Gottwald/Mario Stecher)
Large hill: Bill Demong (US)
Normal hill: Todd Lodwick (U.S.)
10-km mass start: Lodwick
Team: (Japan - Yusuke Minato/Taihei Kato/Akito Watabe/ Norihito Kobayashi)
The jumping will take place at the C$120-million (£71 million) Olympic Park in Whistler, some two hours north of Vancouver, which can accommodate 12,000 spectators. Organisers say the two hills have one of the world's most sophisticated ski jump snow refrigeration and track setting systems.
The maximum flight distance of the large hill is 140 metres with a top take-off speed of 96 kph. The normal hill's top flight distance is 106 metres with a top take-off speed of 89 kph.
The cross-country venue has 10 kms of competition trails in two 5-km loops and a stadium area.
The United States have never won a Nordic Combined medal but look set to make the podium at least once in Whistler after winning three individual golds at the 2009 World Championships.