The Winter Olympics: Biathlon
Biathlon is a combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting that made its debut at the 1960 Winter Olympics, in Squaw Valley, California.
The skiers will race around a cross-country track, stopping at various points to shoot at targets 50 meters away, sometimes standing and sometimes on the ground. The shortest total time wins, and time is added depending on how accurate their shooting is.
Biathlon has five events in the Winter Olympics:
- Sprint is 10k for men and 7.5k for women. Athletes go around for five laps, each lap shooting twice, one standing and once lying down. Each miss means a penalty lap, which must be completed before the shooting can start again. Athletes race around the same track, with 30 seconds in between the start of the next athlete.
- Pursuit has a staggered start, with athletes lined up by their time difference from a previous race, like the Sprint. Men go 12.5k, and women go 10k. Shots total four (two standing and two lying down), and each miss means a penalty loop. The first person crossing the finish line is the winner.
- The mass start is chaotic, with everyone starting at the same time. Men go 15k; women go 12.5k. Shots total four (two standing and two lying down), and each miss means a penalty loop. The first person crossing the finish line is the winner.
- The individual race, the oldest biathlon event, has four shots (lying down, standing, lying down, standing), for a total of 20 targets. Each miss means that time is added to the athlete's total time.
- The relay event has teams of four who each ski 7.5k (both men and women), shooting twice (one lying down, one standing). For each round of targets, the team has eight bullets to hit five targets. If the team still needs bullets to hit the five targets after all eight bullets have been shot, then the result is a penalty loop for each miss. Each team member must touch the leg of the person who is skiing the next round, and first team across the finish line wins.
Where: Cesana San Sicario
When: February 1125
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