bi·​ath·​lon | \ bī-ˈath-lən How to pronounce biathlon (audio) , -ˌlän \

Definition of biathlon

: a composite athletic contest consisting of cross-country skiing and rifle sharpshooting

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A winter sports event, the biathlon combines 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 20-km (12.5-mile) course, carrying a single-shot rifle and ammunition. They stop at four points to fire five shots at small targets. Relay and 10-km events were added in 1968 and 1980 respectively.

Examples of biathlon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Maja Lapkass, a 16-year-old from Anchorage, qualified for the biathlon team earlier this year. Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage teen qualifies for Youth Olympic Games in nordic combined," 12 Dec. 2019 With just over a year to learn and train for two new sports, Oksana competed in cross country skiing and the biathlon at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "The bond between Paralympian Oksana Masters and her mother began in a Ukrainian orphanage," 7 May 2020 Men's biathlon 10km pursuit: France's Martin Fourcade won gold, while Sweden's Sebastian Samuelsson took silver and bronze went to Germany's Benedikt Doll. USA TODAY, "Winter Olympics: Everything you need to know for Monday," 12 Feb. 2018 Along with a timed 3-kilometer race (advance signup required), there will be a shorter, untimed race as well as a variety of other activities, including obstacle courses, fat-tire biking, sit-skiing and mock biathlon. Anchorage Daily News, "Ski 4 Kids is Saturday at Kincaid Park," 27 Feb. 2020 The 14th Chinese National Winter Games' official opening ceremony was scheduled for February 16, though events like women's ice hockey and biathlon were due to take place on February 1. Calum Trenaman, CNN, "China's national women's soccer team quarantined in Brisbane hotel amid coronavirus fears," 29 Jan. 2020 Sports have been affected in Japan (baseball, hockey), Czech Republic (biathlon), Switzerland (hockey), China (tennis) and South Korea (the start of soccer season has been indefinitely postponed). Scott Ostler,, "Coronavirus concern spreads to the sports world: Panic or prudence?," 2 Mar. 2020 But other medals were scheduled to be awarded in the men's 10-kilometer sprint in biathlon, the ladies' moguls in freestyle skiing and men's luge singles. USA TODAY, "Red alert: Gerard wins United States' 1st gold of games," 11 Feb. 2018 Plantenberg lived in Avon, Minnesota, and was a member of the Minnesota National Guard biathlon team, according to the Guard. Hollie Silverman, CNN, "Three National Guard soldiers killed in helicopter crash identified," 9 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'biathlon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of biathlon

1956, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for biathlon

bi- entry 1 + -athlon (as in decathlon)

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Time Traveler for biathlon

Time Traveler

The first known use of biathlon was in 1956

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Cite this Entry

“Biathlon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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How to pronounce biathlon (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of biathlon

sports : an event in which athletes ski over the countryside and stop to shoot rifles at targets

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