Frenzel aiming for gold in Nordic combined in Pyeongchang


By JIM ARMSTRONG - AP Sports Writer



FILE - In this March 19, 2017, file photo, Eric Frenzel of Germany celebrates his victory in the overall World Cup at the Nordic Combined World Cup in Schonach, Germany. With five World Cup titles and an Olympic gold medal, Frenzel goes into the 2018 Pyeongchang Games as the man to beat in Nordic combined. (Patrick Seeger/dpa via AP, File)


FILE - In this March 19, 2017, file photo, Eric Frenzel of Germany soars through the air during the ski jumping portion of the Nordic Combined World Cup in Schonach, Germany. With five World Cup titles and an Olympic gold medal, Frenzel goes into the 2018 Pyeongchang Games as the man to beat in Nordic combined. (Patrick Seeger/dpa via AP, File)


FILE - In this March 3, 2017, file photo, Germany's Johannes Rydzek celebrates after crossing the finish line winning together with teammate Eric Frenzel the men's nordic combined team sprint at the 2017 Nordic Skiing World Championships in Lahti, Finland. Rydzek, 26-year-old rising star upstaged compatriot Frenzel at the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic test events and won four golds at the Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti a few weeks later. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)


Five-time World Cup winner and Olympic gold medalist Eric Frenzel will be aiming to continue his dominance of Nordic combined at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The 29-year-old German won the normal hill event in Sochi and finished 10th in the large hill competition after falling ill. He came back to help Germany win silver in the team event.

The only athlete to win both the normal and large hill events at one Olympics was Finland’s Samppa Lajunen, who achieved the rare feat at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. Lajunen claimed a third gold that year as a member of Finland’s 4×5-kilometer team.

Over a 10-year career on the World Cup circuit, Frenzel has 42 individual wins and eight team titles to go with three Olympic medals which also include silver in Sochi and bronze in Vancouver.

He won the World Cup for five consecutive years from 2013 and has five World Championship titles.

Here’s some of what to know going into Nordic combined at the Pyeongchang Games.

TRADITIONAL POWERHOUSE: Nordic combined events have been contested since the first Winter Olympics in 1924. Norway has dominated the sport with 30 medals overall and a total of 13 gold medals.

In Pyeongchang, athletes will contest the 10-kilometer normal hill, the 10-kilometer large hill and the team large hill with a 4×5-kilometer team event.

The sport has been exclusively contested by men at the Olympics since its debut. But that could soon change. Officials of the International Ski Federation are in discussions to have women contest Nordic combined at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.

MEDAL FAVORITES: Frenzel’s main competition in Pyeongchang is likely to come from Norwegians Jan Schmid and Joergen Graabak, who won gold in the large hill event in Sochi.

RISING STARS: Johannes Rydzek. The 26-year-old German skier upstaged Frenzel at the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic test events and won four golds at the Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti, Finland, a few weeks later.

A month after being crowned world junior champion in Hinterzarten, Germany, in January of 2010, Rydzek made his Olympic debut in Vancouver and finished on the podium, helping the German quartet win bronze in the team event.

COMEBACK BID: France’s Jason Lamy Chappuis, the Vancouver 2010 men’s individual normal hill-10K champion, retired after the Sochi Games to train as an airline pilot but is making a comeback at the age of 31 and plans to compete at Pyeongchang.

Lamy-Chappuis has won 26 individual World Cup events and three consecutive overall World Cup titles between 2010 and 2012. He has won 10 world championship medals in total, including five golds.

The ski jumping competition will take place at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre and the Alpensia Cross-Country Centre, which is located in the Pyeongchang Mountain Cluster.

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More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org

FILE – In this March 19, 2017, file photo, Eric Frenzel of Germany celebrates his victory in the overall World Cup at the Nordic Combined World Cup in Schonach, Germany. With five World Cup titles and an Olympic gold medal, Frenzel goes into the 2018 Pyeongchang Games as the man to beat in Nordic combined. (Patrick Seeger/dpa via AP, File)
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/01/web1_119673971-e7e8c25d0b8a4717a1be98a75994e503.jpgFILE – In this March 19, 2017, file photo, Eric Frenzel of Germany celebrates his victory in the overall World Cup at the Nordic Combined World Cup in Schonach, Germany. With five World Cup titles and an Olympic gold medal, Frenzel goes into the 2018 Pyeongchang Games as the man to beat in Nordic combined. (Patrick Seeger/dpa via AP, File)

FILE – In this March 19, 2017, file photo, Eric Frenzel of Germany soars through the air during the ski jumping portion of the Nordic Combined World Cup in Schonach, Germany. With five World Cup titles and an Olympic gold medal, Frenzel goes into the 2018 Pyeongchang Games as the man to beat in Nordic combined. (Patrick Seeger/dpa via AP, File)
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/01/web1_119673971-6f2e6278fc9e4f5da25d36ab442a8f1d.jpgFILE – In this March 19, 2017, file photo, Eric Frenzel of Germany soars through the air during the ski jumping portion of the Nordic Combined World Cup in Schonach, Germany. With five World Cup titles and an Olympic gold medal, Frenzel goes into the 2018 Pyeongchang Games as the man to beat in Nordic combined. (Patrick Seeger/dpa via AP, File)

FILE – In this March 3, 2017, file photo, Germany’s Johannes Rydzek celebrates after crossing the finish line winning together with teammate Eric Frenzel the men’s nordic combined team sprint at the 2017 Nordic Skiing World Championships in Lahti, Finland. Rydzek, 26-year-old rising star upstaged compatriot Frenzel at the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic test events and won four golds at the Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti a few weeks later. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/01/web1_119673971-e517b2eee3894090a9cd823061bc2c3f.jpgFILE – In this March 3, 2017, file photo, Germany’s Johannes Rydzek celebrates after crossing the finish line winning together with teammate Eric Frenzel the men’s nordic combined team sprint at the 2017 Nordic Skiing World Championships in Lahti, Finland. Rydzek, 26-year-old rising star upstaged compatriot Frenzel at the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic test events and won four golds at the Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti a few weeks later. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)

By JIM ARMSTRONG

AP Sports Writer

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