March 14, 2009

A New Interest in Biathlon

"It’s guns and skis, you know? It’s just a lot of fun," said Bill Weidner of Warrenville, Ill., who has taken up the sport of biathlon in middle age.

He is quoted in a New York Times piece on a small biathlon renaissance. Apparently the fashion section is less like to hyperventilate about guns than the news pages--who knew?

As Sebastian points out, however, writer Katie Zezima makes one small error: biathlon's origins lie in early Scandinavian ski troops more than in hunting.

Those are re-enactors in the photo, portraying 19th-century Norwegian ski troops. For more history and images, including this one, go here.

I have always liked the idea of the snowshoes-and-flintlocks "primitive biathlon" too.

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