National pride at a low
Nordic combined, the winter sport founded in Scandinavia that challenges athletes in ski jumping and cross-country skiing, could easily have been renamed "Norwegian combined" in its early days. Athletes from Norway won all 12 Olympic medals in the event prior to World War II. However, in this century, Norwegian athletes have failed to win a single gold medal in the sport, and have only one silver and one bronze. Both were captured by Magnus Hovdal Moan at the 2006 Torino Games.
Building and streaming
Moan (pronounced MOO-ahn) was born in Lillehammer, the host city of the 1994 Olympic Winter Games. He currently lives in Trondheim, Norway's third largest city. When he is not training or competing, he works part-time for Doka Norge, an engineering and construction firm. He also enjoys telemark skiing, playing golf and updating fans about his latest whereabouts in vlogs on his personal Web site.
Second wind after Worlds
Moan had his best season in 2008-09, when he finished runner-up to Finland's Anssi Koivuranta in the overall World Cup standings. The tall Norwegian had seven victories during the season, helping to overcome the disappointment of a poor World Championships performance. Fatigue was the main reason he gave for finishing outside the medal podium in all three individual events.
All in the chase
Moan usually posts the fastest ski times in a Nordic combined competition, and has shown the ability to make up huge deficits on his "skinny skis." His skill at comebacks was illustrated at a World Cup event in Chaux-Neuve, France in January 2009, when he climbed from the 25th position following the ski jump to first, overcoming a 1:48 deficit in 10km to win by nine seconds. In December, he passed 40 skiers in the ten-kilometer ski to climb from 43rd to third.