Winter sports biathlon

Lung power and a cool head required

The biathlon is a winter sport comprising two disciplines - cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. The sport has its origins in countries such as Sweden and Norway, where soldiers would move around and do shooting exercises wearing skis.

Definitely not a macho sport...

Only men were allowed to compete in the early days, but fortunately that has since changed. Men and women now compete on the same tracks and shooting ranges. The biathlon is a relatively young sport and is very popular in Germany, Russia, the Nordic countries and now in France. France's male and female champions are now international top-level athletes following the gold medal won in the female relay at the Albertville Winter Olympics in 1992.