Winter Olympic Sports: Biathlon

The history of this sport goes back several not even hundreds, but thousands of years. Similar actions can be seen in primitive hunters who on homemade skis in winter went hunting and shot at targets – animals. At the time, the reward for successful shooting and racing was booty. Today the principle remained the same, only the reward changed.

The principle of competition looks quite simple. There are multiple disciplines within a single race. One of them sprint. In this case, men run a distance of 10 km, women just under 7.5 km. During the race they have to stop for shooting twice and hit 5 targets. Each miss adds a penalty 150 metre lap to the athlete for the run. Those who are the first to finish the sprint race (which is about 60 athletes) immediately move to the pursuit race.

This section is a 12.5 km race for men and 10 km for women. The start of a competition participant is determined by the time that was gained in the sprint. Participants must stop 4 times to make shots. Five targets are the norm for each of them. Here, an additional 150 metre penalty lap is also added for each miss.

The next stage of the biathlon competition is personal superiority. The track for the race here is 20 km for men and 15 km for women. 4 shooting lines at which athletes must fire shots. Here, the system for charging penalties for misses changes somewhat – to each participant’s personal time an extra minute is added for each shot passed by the target.

Then only the team relay remains. The team includes 4 people. Everyone must run a distance of 7.5 km. During the race you need to hit 5 targets. In the event of a miss, each participant is assigned an additional 150 meter circle.

Biathlon is considered one of the most expensive sports. Special gear, cartridges and, of course, weapons. From the 70s of the last century, small-caliber carbines began to be used for biathlon. They help reduce the shooting distance to 50 m. And that helped increase security at stadiums and significantly reduce the size of the special venues where the race takes place.

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