Boots Poles Rifle Skis
Competitors ski around a cross-country track, broken up by two or four rounds of shooting. The rifle must way at least 7.7 pounds and use .22 LR ammunition. Five targets must be hit per round, with half the rounds taken from a standing position, and the other from the prone position. Accuracy then determines extra distance or time allotted to each competitor. Each missed target must be atoned for with one of the following: 1) 150 meters added to the course 2) one minute added to the total time of completion 3) an extra rifle cartridge is taken away.
Biathlon is a sport that is made up of two disciplines. It is usually referred to as a winter sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. However, there is also a summer biathlon, which combines cross-country running and riflery. From age-old Scandinavian military tactics comes biathlon, the wedding of cross-country skiing and shooting. An Olympic event, biathlon calls for competitors to ski around a large track and shoot a rifle at multiple targets throughout the course. Accuracy is key, as competitors are penalized in various ways for any missed shots. In the end, whoever finishes the course quickest, is the winner.
Biathlon draws its roots from training exercises performed by soldiers in the Norwegian army. Originally called "military patrol", the sport was featured in the 1924 Winter Olympic Games before being demoted to a demonstration in 1928, and then finally dropped in 1948. In an attempt to revive biathlon's popularity, govern competitions and standardize rules, the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne et Biathlon (UIPMB) was established. The sport soon took hold in Russia and Sweden, where it became a fixture in each country's respective sporting scene. Biathlon regained Olympic status in 1960, a status it still holds. Today it is played in more than a dozen countries, mostly concentrated in northern Europe.