A handful of facts 

Winter biathlon – that’s what biathlon is called. It is a sport discipline that was first presented at the Winter Olympics in 1924 in the French town of Chamonix. 

Over the decades, new rules have been introduced in this sport. 

For example, it has been established that the category of juniors may include persons who are under the age of 21, which later was, of course, subjected to modifications. 

Interestingly, the small-caliber carbine, which is indispensable in biathlon, was introduced only in 1978. It was then that the mechanical shield was used for the first time. 

Initially, only men were allowed to compete in biathlon competitions. Over the years, the situation has changed and women have also been admitted to contests. In 2011, even a new competition was added to the mixed race for the Sochi Olympics, which will take place in 2014. 


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Sport rules 

Biathlon is about connecting ski gear with shooting skills. The race can take place at various distances ranging from 7.5 to 20 kilometers. In his course, the competitor must give a two or four (depending on the length of the distance) shots in a shield with a carabiner, which he wears on his back while running. Each time the competitor gives five shots in a lying or standing position at a distance of fifty meters from the target. If he does not hit the shield, he is punished. 

Among the penalties can be distinguished penalty penalty – this means that one minute is added to the competitor to the overall running time; additional round – the competitor can be ordered to cover an additional distance (150m) on a separate track. The competitor may not use automatic rifles or semiautomatic machines. He is obliged to load the weapon himself. The rifle’s caliber should be 5.6 mm. Athletes designated distance can overcome any style of running. 


In the biathlon, up to seven competitors can be distinguished. Below are the most popular ones. 

A sprint run – women have to overcome a distance of 7.5 km, while men have a distance of 10 km. Shots on the shooting range are given twice, but in different positions – standing and lying. A missed shot means overcoming an additional distance of 150 meters. Players start individually, but at the same intervals. 

Individual race – distance for ladies is 15 km, and for men 20 km. During this race, each competitor is required to appear on the shooting range five times. Shots are given both in a lying and sitting position alternately (starting from a lying one). The penalty for not hitting the target is to add a minute to the entire time of the distance. 

Relay – in this competition four competitors are lost, each of whom has a certain distance to overcome – gentlemen of 7.5 km, and ladies after 6 km. In addition, each player is required to give two shots in standing and lying positions. 

Mass race – the riders set in rows start at the same time. The distance for women is 12.5 km and for men 15 km. Each player performs four shots. The penalty for miss is to cover an additional distance (150 m). 

Mixed race – women compete in this competition (they start running) and men. Some people consider this race as a relay. The distance of men is longer by 1.5 km than that for ladies and is 7.5 km. 


The competitor should have good quality outfit. In addition, a carbine with a caliber equal to 5.6 mm and a weight not exceeding 3.5 kg (including ammunition). The biathlete has skis whose length should not exceed its height, which we reduce by 4 cm. The equipment of the player is completed by poles that make it easier to run. 

Biathlon and health 

This sport requires very good physical condition. The trainings are comprehensive. Competitors must have a specially arranged diet (highly calorific). It is supposed to provide essential minerals, vitamins and, above all, provide the right dose of energy. The decision to practice this sport should be consulted with a sports medicine doctor who will assess our predispositions. 

In addition, it is a sport that requires certain sacrifices. The groupings usually start at the turn of April and May. Then the players are preparing for the season, which takes place in the winter season. Therefore, it may be difficult for biathletes, especially young ones, to reconcile constant trips, time-consuming, murderous trainings with other duties, such as a school. This sport can be practiced in nurseries and clubs located in the south of our country. 


You can read also: What to drink during workout? Hydration rules during exercise.

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