Kind of sport
The biathlon is a combination of two sports: cross-country skiing and shooting. Originally, it developed as a goal-directed military training, the biathlon has grown into a sport with a large following. It is only practised by men. The ski-running technique is similar to that used in cross-country skiing. But the biathlon participants have to carry around a rifle that weighs about 8 kg. on his shoulder. Dynamic cross-country skiing combined with static shooting requires a lot of endurance and concentration on the part of the participants. One is shooting with a narrow calibred rifle and during the skiing it may not be loaded. This means that the competitor has to assume his shooting position (lying down or standing up), load, aim and shoot in the least amount of time. The skis are not taken off and after the last shot has been fired, the participant hangs the rifle back over his shoulders and continues the competition as quickly as he can.