The Gundersen method is a method in the Nordic combined developed by Gunder Gundersen, a Nordic combined athlete from Norway, that was first used in the 1980s. This technique turned the cross country skiing part of the Nordic combined from a point-based system where all athletes ski in an interval start manner and whoever earned the most points with the ski jumping part of the Nordic combined won the event to a pursuit race for the cross country skiing part where whoever crossed the finish line first in the cross country skiing part of the Nordic combined event won the competition. The system is now also used in the modern pentathlon in which the start times of the final event (a cross-country run) are also staggered so that the first to cross the finish line is the winner of the entire event. World Athletics announced on 7 December 2018 that the 2020 World Under-20 Athletics Championship will adopt the Gundersen method for the decathlon and heptathlon for the final event.
Initially put in at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 1985 and at the 1988 Winter Olympics, the event point-time differential has been adjusted at every Winter Olympics. The table below is one point difference at the ski jump equaling a specific number of seconds between skiers or teams at the start of the cross country portion of the event.
|Winter Olympic Games||Individual (includes 7.5 km sprint)||Team|
- Wallechinsky, David and Jaime Loucky (2009). "Nordic Combined: Individual". In The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics: 2010 Edition. London: Aurum Press. p. 274-6.
- Wallechinsky, David and Jaime Loucky (2009). "Nordic Combined: Team". In The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics: 2010 Edition. London: Aurum Press. p. 277-80.
- FIS International Competition Rules for Nordic Combined 2008. Archived 2012-10-19 at the Wayback Machine p. 76 (shown in Acrobat file as p. 78.) - accessed 21 December 2009.
- NBC Olympics.com explanation on Gundersen method - Accessed 21 December 2009.