Rick Stewart/Allsport UK|
Athletes race on a cross-country course, stopping at intervals to shoot at targets with rifles. Men complete a distance of 20 km, and women race 15 km. Competitors usually start 30 seconds apart. Athletes in each event can use either the classical or freestyle technique while skiing, so they utilize the faster freestyle method.
Competitors carry a rifle and ammunition at all times. They stop at the firing range four times. In the first and third sequences, they shoot in the prone position, lying with their stomachs against the snow. During the second and fourth sequences, they shoot while standing. Competitors must hit five targets with five bullets at each stop.
The target diameter is 45 mm for the prone position and 115 mm for standing. Targets are 50 meters away from the firing line.
The athlete who completes the course in the fastest time wins. The total time is the time spent skiing plus the penalties for missing any of the targets while shooting. The penalty for missing one target is 1 minute added to the final time.
In all biathlon events, as competitors get close to the firing range, they may slow down to steady their heart rate and breathing in preparation for shooting. Athletes shoot at targets between breaths, and top competitors can control their breathing to decrease the amount of time spent shooting.
Men compete on a 10-km course and women race a distance of 7.5 km. Athletes usually start 30 seconds apart.
Competitors stop twice at the firing range, shooting the first sequence in the prone position and the second while standing. They have to hit five targets with five bullets. The top 60 competitors qualify for the pursuit event.
The athlete who completes the course in the fastest time wins. Athletes must ski a 150-meter penalty loop for each target they miss immediately after the shooting bout.
Men compete in a 12.5-km race and women face off on a 10-km course. The winner of the sprint starts the pursuit, and the remaining competitors follow in 30-second intervals, based on their sprint placement.
Competitors stop at the firing range four times, shooting prone in the first two sequences and standing during the last two sequences. They have to hit all five targets with five bullets. The athlete who crosses the finish line first wins. Athletes must ski a 150-meter penalty loop for each target they miss immediately after the shooting bout.
Pursuit will be making its debut at the 2002 Salt Lake Games.
Each member of a men and women's relay team completes a distance of 7.5 km. The entire team covers 30 km. The first skier begins in a mass start, and each of the remaining members begin after the exchange in the hand-over zone. For the first 100 meters, competitors must use the classical technique, but they can ski the remainder of the leg in freestyle.
Each competitor stops at the firing range twice, using the prone position for one stop and standing for the other. An athlete has to hit five targets with eight bullets. The team whose last member crosses the finish line first wins. Each member who misses a target must ski a 150-meter penalty loop after the shooting bout.