The word biathlon comes from the Greek word meaning two contests. At the Winter Olympics it means joining two sports together. Those two sports are cross country skiing and rifle shooting. The skiers have to go as fast as they can for a certain distance, then they have to shot at a target. It is really hard to do because your heart is beating fast from skiing so hard and then you have to try slow your heart down so you can hit a target that is about the size of a coin. I don't know how they do it. It sounds really difficult.
Racers wear cross-country skis, ski suit, and boot. They have a harness to carry the rifle. Also they have an arm sling that is used to stabilize the rifle while shooting.
There are four different races for men and women. There is the sprint, pursuit, individual and the relay. Each race is a different distance and has a different number of targets to hit. One has a penalty loop for every target the racer misses. One minute is added to your time for every target they miss. So it's important to hit all the targets
I think that the biathlon is a very difficult sport but I'd love to try it and maybe you would like to do it too!
Winter Olympics | Pocantico Hills School
This page was last edited December 02, 2005.
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