What is Biathlon?

By: Dalton Bartlett

The name Biathlon most likely means nothing to you, but if you like cross-country, skiing, and/or shooting, this would be the sport for you!

The meaning of “Biathlon” is Dual Event. The definition of biathlon is “a Nordic skiing event in which competitors combine cross-country skiing and rifle shooting.”-Google. The first biathlon competition happened in 1767 between ski-runner companies on the Swedish-Norwegian border. In 1861, a ski club formerly called “Trysil Rifle and Ski Club” was formed to promote national defense on a local level. This club set the standards for more to be found across Northern Europe.

This sport may seem hard, and it is, but here are some rules to better understand it. One team consists of four biathletes and when the game starts the first person has to go. After 30 seconds, the next person goes… etc. The distances may vary between events, but in the end they have to race. Along the way there are spots for certain people from each group to shoot targets from a prone position and there are other spots where you have to stand and shoot the targets. The top biathletes make in 22 to 24 minutes and the rest most likely end up at 30 to 35 minutes or possibly more!

You can play this sport in multiple ways! You can play individual, sprint, relay, pursuit, relay, and mass start. Events can either be very long, or super short. An example of a short event would be a sprint which is a 10K for men and a 7.5K for women. An example of a long event would be a relay which is a 4 x 7.5 for men and 4 x 6 for women. To win this sport is pretty hard. Whichever person from each team has the lowest net time wins. Meaning that if you have the shortest time from the start to the end, you win that round.

This sport can be very costly, though. Just for the gear it can cost from $300 to $1,200 and the rifle costs $2,500 to $4,000. So if you want to play this sport you better be very committed because this gear will severely cost you. 

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