: a composite athletic contest consisting of cross-country skiing and rifle sharpshooting
Origin of BIATHLON
(as in decathlon
First Known Use: 1958
biathlon noun (Concise Encyclopedia)
Winter sports event combining cross-country skiing with rifle sharpshooting. It originated in Scandinavian hunting. It was first included in the Winter Olympics program in 1960. Competitors cover a course, carrying a single-shot rifle and ammunition and stopping at four points to fire five shots at small targets. Events are either 10 or 20 km long, and there are a variety of race types, including relay, sprint, and pursuit.
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