Winter Olympics Biathlon to be aired live
If you read your last issue of Sports Illustrated, you might’ve been forgiven for believing the Olympics weren’t going to have a biathlon this year. But not only are they having it, The USA channel is actually having live coverage. For more on this Winter Olympics sports coverage, check out the NBC biathlon site. If you’re unfamiliar with the sport, the US Biathlon Olympic Team has more information on the sport at it’s site:
Biathlon is a sport that captures the attention and imagination of everyone who sees it. In so many ways, it is a typical Olympic endeavor – combining the most physically demanding sport of cross-country skiing with the intense precision of rifle marksmanship. These opposing disciplines collide at the shooting range. With their hearts pounding nearly three times a second, the athletes struggle to control their breathing as they shoot, knowing that every shot and the number of seconds it takes to make it, will determine who stands on the podium that day. It is this drama, combined with wonderful visual images of the competitors, which has lead biathlon to be the top rated winter sport on European TV.
Although US Biathletes are relatively unknown in North America, they are well respected and have been producing strong results in Europe. Our Junior Team is among the strongest in the world with numerous medals at World Junior Championships and European Cup, including the best World Junior results for an American team in 2002. These athletes have graduated into the senior ranks and will be competing for spots on the 2006 Olympic Team with a solid core of Olympic veterans. Those veteran athletes include Rachel Steer who currently ranked 36th in the world and had four top-twenty World Cup finishes in 2004; and Jay Hakkinen who has three top-ten finishes in his World Cup career and had the third-fastest time in the Pursuit competition at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics. They also include Jeremy Teela who has finished in the top-10 at World Championships twice.