Nordic Combined Preview
A blend of seasoned veterans and Olympic newcomers are battling for spots on Team USA's nordic combined squad for PyeongChang. Headlining the top athletes are Bryan and Taylor Fletcher. Nordic combined will be showcased in PyeongChang at the Alpensia Nordic Center, a modern complex with ski jumps and cross-country track in the heart of the Games.

Older brother Bryan, a childhood cancer survivor, carries in the top past results including a world cup win in the prestigious King's Cup at Holmenkollen in Oslo, Norway, in 2012. He was also a member of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team. Younger brother, Taylor, a two-time Olympian having competed in both Vancouver and Sochi, has established himself as one of the fastest cross-country skiers in the sport. If he can put together a strong jump, he will be a contender.

Bryan, 31, scored four top-15 world cup finishes a year ago in a season that also saw him become a new father. Taylor, 27, who has two individual world cup and one team event podium to his credit, is seeking to make his third Olympic team.

Behind the Olympic veterans is a large group of athletes seeking to earn their first Olympic berth. The veteran of that group is Adam Loomis, 25, a two-time world championship team member. Loomis was a regular point scorer on the world cup circuit several seasons ago. He scored a top-30 Grand Prix finish in August. Also chasing the Fletchers are Ben Berend, 22, and Jasper Good, 22.

The battle for the four team spots may also include a pair of juniors, including 2016 Youth Olympic Games silver medalist Ben Loomis, 19, and Stephen Schumann, 18. Loomis has four top-10 Continental Cup finishes and was on the 2017 World Championship Team. The teenager scored 10th- and 15th-place finishes last season at the Junior World Championships in Utah.

Team USA's Nordic combined team will include up to four athletes, dependent on national quotas achieved through international results. The top athlete will be selected based on results of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Nordic Combined, to be held Dec. 30 at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah. The remainder of the team will be nominated primarily based on results in world cup competitions through Jan. 22.

Team USA had stunning success in Nordic combined at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, earning four medals. Billy Demong won gold, with Johnny Spillane taking two silvers and the team also picking up silver in the 4x5-kilometer relay.

Storylines

  • Over the past few seasons, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, natives and brothers Bryan and Taylor Fletcher have been among the leaders on the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup circuit. Now, a pair of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, brothers are starting to make their own mark in the sport, including veteran Adam Loomis and his younger brother Ben Loomis, who established himself with a silver medal at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2016 and is now finding a place on the world cup tour.

  • The sport of Nordic combined is evolving, with new scoring rules putting more emphasis on jumping. Success in the sport requires excellence in jumping more than ever before, which has been a challenge for U.S. athletes.

Athletes To Watch

Ben Berend
A three-time junior world championship team member, Berend (Steamboat Springs, Colorado) scored a pair of top-20 finishes at Almaty, Kazakhstan in 2015. Known as the strongest jumper on the U.S. team, Berend had a breakthrough Continental Cup in December 2015 with a pair of top-10 finishes on the Utah Olympic venues and is now a regular on the world cup tour.

Bryan Fletcher
As a child, Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, Colorado) found ski jumping as a joyous break from his cancer treatments. He beat the cancer and kept going in the sport, motivated by his hometown heroes like world champions and Olympic medalists Todd Lodwick and Johnny Spillane. Known as one of the world cup tour's top cross-country skiers, Fletcher battled his way to a win in the prestigious King's Cup World Cup race in Oslo, Norway, in 2012, and a year later was part of the team that took bronze at the 2013 World Championships in Italy. After making his Olympic debut in 2014, he will seek is second Olympic berth in PyeongChang.

Taylor Fletcher 
The younger brother of Bryan, Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, Colorado) snuck into the Olympics first, garnering a spot on the 2010 U.S. Olympic team before joining his brother at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Known as one of the fastest cross-country skiers in his sport, it's not unusual to see him pick up 20 or more places in the cross-country leg. He has two world cup podiums to his credit and joined Bryan Fletcher in their bronze-medal effort in the team event at the 2013 FIS World Championships.

Adam Loomis
A native of Eau Claire Wisconsin, Loomis grew up soaring with the Flying Eagles Ski Club. He posted a strong 12th-place finish at the 2011 FIS Junior World Championships in Turkey, and followed that performance with a pair of top-six finishes at the Utah Continental Cup in December 2011. He will seek his first Olympic berth after narrowly missing the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team.

Ben Loomis
Following in the footsteps of his older brother, Adam, Ben Loomis (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) has had a promising career as a junior, capped off with the silver medal at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games. He qualified for the Youth Games with a stunning fifth-place finish in a Continental Cup on the Utah Olympic venues two months earlier. He is a three-time member of the U.S. Junior World Championship Team and has won six national junior titles.

Qualification

In order to be considered for selection, Nordic combined athletes must have scored points (top 30) in either world cup or summer Grand Prix events at any time in their career, or score points in continental cup competitions during the 2017-18 season. The number of quota spots for the U.S. team will be determined by the International Ski Federation on Jan. 22, 2018, with a maximum of four athletes based on points achieved by U.S. athletes on the world cup (primary) and continental cup (secondary) tours, beginning July 2016.

Click here to view the complete 2018 Olympic qualification procedures for Nordic Combined.

Selection

Results from FIS World Cup and Continental Cup competitions between Nov. 15, 2017, and Jan. 22, 2018, may be used as part of the selection process, along with the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Nordic Combined. 

Click here to view the complete 2018 Olympic selection procedures from the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association. 

Editor’s Note: This selection process overview is designed to provide general information only and should not be relied upon by athletes attempting to make the U.S. Olympic Team. The selection process is formally governed by selection procedures published by each National Governing Body. Athletes and other individuals interested in the selection process should contact the appropriate NGB to obtain the full selection procedures, or to seek clarification of the process.

Key Dates

November 2017-January 2018

World Cup competitions

Various

Dec. 30, 2017

U.S. Olympic Team Trials

Park City, Utah

 Jan. 22, 2018 U.S. Olympic Team announcement  
*The full 2018  U.S. Olympic Nordic Combined Team will be announced on or before Jan. 22, 2018.