Biathlon is an Olympic winter sport, which combines free-technique cross-country skiing and small-bore rifle marksmanship. The challenge of biathlon is the combination of two very contradictory disciplines, skiing and shooting, in the same competition. Cross-country racing requires intense, full out physical exertion over an extended period of time while shooting demands extremely fine control and stability.
Several competition forms of movement and shooting – such as ski archery, snowshoe biathlon, running biathlon, and mountain bike biathlon – are also normally included in the general category of Biathlon.
Biathlon has its roots in Scandinavia and Finland. Rock carvings in Norway dating from over 4,000 years ago depict two men stalking animals on skis. Less as a means of personal survival and more as a form of national protection, biathlon played an integral role in military life from the 1700s on. The earliest recorded biathlon competition took place in 1767 between “ski-runner companies” which guarded the Swedish-Norwegian border. The world’s first known ski club, the Trysil Rifle and Ski Club, was formed in Norway in 1861 to promote national defense at the local level.
Fairbanks Biathlon Club runs weekly year round range openings at Birch Hill and UAF ranges to facilitate individual training
We strive, in conjunction with Alaska Biathlon Association (ABA), to hold at least two clinics each year, one in Anchorage and one in Fairbanks, taught by Olympians or similar, covering everything from the basics to coaching and officiating
Alaska Biathlon Association holds a yearly state race series for all ages
Arctic Winter Games
Alaska participates in the Arctic Winter Games, sending youth ski and snowshoe biathletes to compete once every two years in international competition
The Alaska National Guard has an elite athlete program in which they enlist athletes with Olympic potential to train with their national biathlon team full time.