Biathlon is a sport term used to describe any sporting event made up of two disciplines. Generally, biathlon usually refers to popular winter olympic sport which combines cross-country skiing with rifle shooting. There is also a warm weather variant called Summer Biathlon which replaces skiing with running. Modern Biathlon also known as Biathle combines running and swimming.

History of Biathlon

Biathlon wasn´t at first a sport. For nothern European hunters It was a way to provide food for their families for the past four thousand years. Later, in mid-16th century Norwegian military began to put their armies on skis as an alternative training. Its origins comes from an exercise for local soldiers. One of the first world´s known ski clubs, The Trysil Rifle and Ski Club, was found in Norway in 1861 as a form of national defence at the local level.

The first World Championship in biathlon was held in Austria, in 1958, and in 1960 the sport was finally included in the Olympic Games. Women were first allowed in Olympic biathlon in 1992, at Albertville. Biathlon is very popular in countries like Germany, Norway, and Russia. In other areas of the world it’s much less well-known.

Biathlon basic concept

In a standard winter race, a Biathlete is required to ski with his rifle over a set distance to a shooting range. There are taken five shots at five knockdown targets 50 m down range from prone position. Depending on the format, either a time penalty or penalty laps are assessed for missed shots. The biathlete then skiis another loop, and comes back to the shooting range for another set of shots – this time from a standing stance. Again penalties are assessed for missed shots. The racer then skiis a final loop to complete the race.

Biathlon concept evolved from two activities with a long history – Hunting and winter warfare. One is a typical aerobic activity which requires strength, speed, and endurance; the other is a passive activity which requires concentration and a steady hand. At first sight a seemingly unlikely combination of events.

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