Olympic Biathlon Links
This page has links that will help you find the latest news and best sites about the Biathlon at the Winter Olympic Games.
Biathlon Combines Cross Country Skiing with Precision Marksmanship
Biathlon competition consists of events in sprint, pursuit, individual and relay, all of which combine the disciplines of skiing and marksmanship. Unlike typical Nordic skiing technique, biathletes primarily employ the skate, a style in which the skier uses longer poles to propel him or herself in a right-to-left direction along the trail. A harness is used to carry the rifle on the athlete's back while skiing. In the sprint event, competitors stop twice, attempting to hit five targets with five bullets. For each miss, athletes take a lap around the 150 meter penalty loop, thereby increasing their time by about 25 seconds. The top 60 finishers of this event compete in the pursuit, in which competitors start at intervals based on their sprint times and stop four times, again attempting five targets per stop. A penalty loop is the price for each miss. In the individual event, competitors again stop four times with five targets at each stop, however, instead of a penalty loop, the price for a miss is one minute added to their finishing time. The fast-paced relay is a team event in which individuals on four-person teams each ski 7.5 km legs, during which they must complete two firing sequences, again with five targets but this time with eight bullets per sequence. They must load the extra bullets one at a time. For each target left standing, a penalty loop is required. The 2006 Olympic biathlon will take place in the beautiful Cesana San Sicario.
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