The Biathlon events at the 2018 Winter Olympics are set to blast off on Saturday, February 10 with the Women’s 7.5 km sprint. The unique sport combines cross-country skiing with shooting and has its roots in Scandinavian survival skills, where gun-toting skiers would scavenge the forest for food. After the spectacle that was the Opening Ceremony, Biathlon is sure to continue the trend of athletic showmanship.
The word “Biathlon” itself stems from the Greek word for the joining of two contests. The skiers speed around a course with rifles strapped to their backs, and they pause at designated points to shoot at a series of targets. The guns that the athletes use are small-bore rifles, which use .22 caliber long rifle ammunition. Men compete in individual races in distances of 10 kilometers, 12.5 km, 15 km and 20 km, while women compete in 10 km, 12.5 km and 15 km races, and both compete in relays.
Depending on the format, there are either two or four shooting “bouts” per race that are executed while the skier is either in a standing or prone position. Athletes are penalized for every target missed. Once again, depending on the format, the penalty can be either one-minute added to their overall time or having to skate one lap around a 150m loop.
The U.S. has sadly never medaled in the 58 years (16 Games) that the Biathlon has been a part of the Olympics. In fact, biathlon has the dubious distinction of being the only winter event that the U.S. has never medaled in. Tune in to see if that finally changes this time around the track.
Here’s the schedule of biathlon events and how you can tune in.
For the entire Olympic Winter Games schedule, click here.
Saturday, Feb. 10
Women’s 7.5 km sprint — 6:15 a.m. ET
Sunday, Feb. 11
Men’s 10 km sprint — 6:15 a.m. ET
Monday, Feb. 12
Women’s 10 km pursuit — 5:10 a.m. ET
Men’s 12.5 km pursuit — 7:00 a.m. ET
Wednesday, Feb. 14
Women’s 15 km individual — 6:05 a.m. ET
Thursday, Feb. 15
Men’s 20 km individual — 6:00 a.m. ET
Saturday, Feb. 17
Women’s 12.5 km mass start — 6:15 a.m. ET
Sunday, Feb. 18
Men’s 15 km mass start — 6:15 a.m. ET
Tuesday, Feb. 20
Mixed relay — 6:15 a.m. ET
Thursday, Feb. 22
Women’s 4 x 6 km relay — 6:15 a.m. ET
Friday, Feb. 23
Men’s 4 x 7.5 km relay — 6:15 a.m. ET
How to Watch on TV
The Olympic Games will all be broadcast on NBC, NBCSN and across NBC Universal networks. For full detailed TV listings, check out NBCOlympics.com.
How to Live Stream
All events will be live-streamed on NBCOlympics.com.