The biathlon

Le Grand-Bornand
14 November 2019, 9 h 39 min
07
07
2°C
flik: 3°C
barr: 1000 mb
hmid: 54%
winds: 1 m/s NNE
Windgusts: 2 m/s
UV-Index: 0
sunrise: 7 h 32 min
sunset: 17 h 04 min
 
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What is biathlon?

The biathlon is combining two disciplines: cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. Biathletes alternate ski and shot (lying and standing) on 5 targets at a distance of 50 m, with a diameter of 4.5 cm for the lying shooting and 11.5 cm for standing shooting. Each shooting error is punished either by a time penalty (+ 1 min for the individual event) or a penalty loop of 150 m for other events.

Biathlon, a popular sport!

Biathlon has become one of the most popular winter sports. Facts & figures:

  • 29 million French viewers (cumulative audience) followed the Biathlon World Championships in Ruhpolding (GER) 2012.
    Source : Eurosport
  • 470,000 fans gathered in front of Eurosport to watch Martin Fourcade win the pursuit event of these same World Championships.
    Source : Eurosport
  • 972 hours retransmission of biathlon competitions around the world in one year. In 1999, transmission time failed to exceed 260 hours!
    Source : INFRONT
  • 560 000 spectators assisted at events on the world circuit (World Cup and World Championship events 2011/2012).
    Source : INFRONT

The biathlon in France : key dates

Biathlon really took off in 1960 when it became an Olympic sport at the Winter Olympic Games in Squaw Valley. At the time, heavy military weapons were used, limiting wider participation.
In France, the sport was slow to develop, despite the efforts of the customs services and the army.

Les principales compétitions

Chaque année se déroule la coupe du monde, de novembre à mars, répartie sur 9 étapes et 27 courses où sont mélangés les circuits masculins et féminins.

Traditionnellement, la saison démarre en Scandinavie puis revient dans les Alpes. Après la pause de Noël, se disputent les trois classiques, Oberhof et Ruhpolding, en Allemagne, et Anterselva en Italie.

La fin de saison se déroule très souvent en Scandinavie ou en Russie même s’il arrive au circuit mondial de faire une incursion en Asie ou aux Etats-Unis.

Contrairement aux épreuves de ski gérées par la Fédération Internationale de Ski qui organise un championnat du monde tous les deux ans, il y a un mondial de biathlon tous les ans à l’exception des années olympiques où seules les épreuves qui ne figurent pas au programme des Jeux ont droit à un titre.

Le premier championnat d’Europe de l’histoire a été organisé en 1995 au Grand Bornand.

Biathlon has been Olympic since 1960 and in 2014 in Sochi, six races will take place (individual, sprint, pursuit, mass-start, relay and mixed relay, new Olympic event).

In 1984, women’s biathlon officially appeared with a world premiere held in Chamonix. Women’s biathlon made its debut at the Games in 1992.

In France, the national circuit includes French championships and Nordic Challenge events.

In the summer, ski-wheel events are organised.

In France, biathlon depends on the French Ski Federation, while at the global level, the International Biathlon Union manages the discipline.

Do you want to know the feelings of champions like Martin Fourcade?

Discover biathlon, target shooting at 10 or 50 metres with a compressed air rifle, a fun activity to practice with the whole family to also improve concentration and stress management.

And for the younger ones, the initiation is done during laser sessions.