Winter Olympic Sports: Biathlon

The Winter Olympic sport of Biathlon is a discipline which combines both cross-country skiing and target rifle shooting events. The sport was first developed as a training exercise for Norwegian soldiers - with the first competition held in 1767.

The cross country skiing component covers a distance of 7 to 20km depending which event of the biathlon contest.

In the shooting component, .22 calibre rifles are used at a range of 50 meters. At each stop, competitors have five bullets and five targets to hit. Each miss in the sprint, pursuit, and relay events results in a 150-m penalty loop. Each miss in the individual event adds one minute to the athlete's final time.

Events for 2014

MEN'S EVENTS WOMEN'S EVENTS Mixed
  • 10 km sprint
  • 12.5 km pursuit
  • 15 km mass start
  • 20 km individual
  • 4 x 7.5 km relay
  • 10 km pursuit
  • 12.5 km mass start
  • 15 km individual
  • 4x6 km relay
  • 7.5 km sprint
  • relay: 2 x 6 km (women), 2x 7.5 km (men)

History

At the 1924 Games, a precursor event to the Biathlon was an event called Military Patrol. Miliatry Patrol was also a demonstration sport in 1928, 1936 and 1948. Biathlon made its official Olympic debut at Squaw Valley in 1960. Women's biathlon made its Olympic debut in 1992 in Albertville. The Mixed relay biathlon was added to the program in 2014.

Cross Country SkiingTrivia

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