Biathlon at Whistler Olympic Park

Biathlon at Whistler Olympic Park

Biathlon consists of 10 separate events that combine fast and aggressive cross-country skiing with the accuracy and skill of rifle shooting. Men and women compete separately in races ranging from 6 km to 20 km of cross-country skiing interspersed with rounds of rifle target shooting. The different events include Individual Start, Sprint, Pursuit, Relay and Mass Start where the top 30 competitors race to the finish line.

Straight Shooting - Biathlon in Whistler

Individual Start

Men race 20 km and women race 15 km with competitors starting one at a time, every 30 seconds. Men ski a 4-km loop and women ski a 3-km loop five times; between each loop, competitors stop four times at the shooting range to take five shots at a target. If an athlete misses a shot, one minute is added to his or her total time at the end of the race. The athlete with the lowest combined ski time and shooting time penalty is the winner.

Sprint

Athletes start every 30 seconds with women racing 7.5 km (3 laps of a 2.5-km loop) and men racing 10 km (3 laps of a 3.3-km loop). All competitors must stop twice at the shooting range to take five shots at a target. If an athlete misses a shot, he or she must ski a lap around a 150-metre penalty loop. The athlete with the lowest time, including penalty loops, is the winner.

Canada's Olympic Biathlon Team

Marc-André Bédard - Valcartier, Quebec
Robin Clegg - Canmore, Alberta
Rosanna Crawford - Canmore, Alberta
Brendan Green - Hay River, Northwest Territories
Megan Imrie - Falcon Lake, Manitoba
Zina Kocher - Red Deer, Alberta
Jean-Philippe Le Guellec - Quebec City, Quebec
Megan Tandy - Prince George, British Columbia

Pursuit

The top 60 finishers in the sprint event qualify for the pursuit competition with everyone chasing the sprint event winner. Competitors start at intervals based on their finishing times in the sprint competition; the sprint winner starts first while everyone else starts at intervals based on how many seconds behind the winner they were in the sprint competition. Women race 10 km (5 laps of a 2-km loop) and men race 12.5 km (5 laps of a 2.5-km loop). All competitors must stop four times at the shooting range to take five shots at a target. For each missed shot, an athlete must ski a penalty lap around a 150-metre loop. The first athlete to cross the finish line wins.

Relay

One by one, each member of a four-person team skis a leg (7.5 km for men, 6 km for women), tagging the next team member at the completion of his/her leg. Each athlete skis three legs and must stop twice at the shooting range. Instead of the usual five shots, each athlete is allowed an extra three bullets. If an athlete still misses the target, the athlete must ski a 150-metre penalty lap for each missed shot.

Mass Start

The 30 best-ranked competitors start together skiing 12.5 km for women and 15 km for men, stopping four times at the shooting range to take five shots at a target. If an athlete misses a shot, the athlete must ski a lap around a 150-metre penalty loop. If a competitor is lapped during the competition he or she must withdraw immediately. The first athlete to cross the finish line is the winner.

Find more information about the sport from Vancouver2010.com.