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The Biathlon is a staple for the Winter Olympics. A historic sport that has a long tradition. But, what exactly is it? What two events are in the Biathlon?
The 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics are almost here. The best athletes are getting set for Beijing and they’re looking to represent their countries and compete on a significant international stage.
One of the most intriguing events that takes place in the Winter Olympic Games is the Biathlon, which is the unique combination of two drastically different events.
What exactly does the Biathlon involve? What sort of equipment are needed to participate in the Biathlon? Skis and rifles.
2022 Winter Olympics: What is the Biathlon?
Skiing and rifle shooting may not be two sports that generally go hand-in-hand for most people. It seems like a pretty big jump to go from one to the other, but there’s a ton of history and tradition behind this sport.
Biathlon competitions have roots that run all the way back in the 18th century, according to Olympics.com. In 1924, the Biathlon broke through and made it into the Olympic Games and was known as “military patrol,” a nod to the fact that the event is inspired by Scandinavian survival skills as well as military applications.
According to Cornell University, the skills were used by Finnish ski soldiers who were fighting off a German invasion during World War II. Cornell University also notes that there were Soviet Union ski troops, which would explain why both Finland and the Soviet Union pushed to make sure the sport could have a place in the Olympics following the conclusion of World War II.
There’s a proud tradition here and, while it may seem odd to some, it’s an incredible competition that celebrates some incredible history.