Learn about the Olympic sport of biathlon | SierraSun.com

Learn about the Olympic sport of biathlon

Special to the Sun
Courtesy Mark NadellOlympic biathlete Glenn Jobe demonstrates the prone shooting position at a recent Auburn Ski Club Biathlon Clinic.
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TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Youand#8217;ve probably seen it on the Olympics, but have you ever wanted to try the exciting sport of biathlon?

Glenn Jobe, an Olympic biathlete in the 1980 Winter Games, leads the biathlon clinics at Auburn Ski Club. The Club has experienced coaches who also offer introduction to cross country skiing and ski skating improvement clinics.

and#8220;We are seeing a huge growth in interest in biathlon in Tahoe thanks to Glennand#8217;s enthusiasm and dedication to sharing his passion for the sport,and#8221; said Sally Jones, Nordic program director at The Auburn Ski Club. and#8220;There is a real allure to the challenge of combining the two extremes of heart pumping exercise followed by steadying breathing enough to hit targets 50 meters (160 feet) away. The targets are specially designed to give you the satisfaction of immediately seeing if you are shooting straight.and#8221;

In competition for every miss you must ski an extra 150-meter penalty lap before going back out on the ski course, so you have to work on skiing fast and shooting straight to be a good biathlete.

Auburn Ski Club offers clinics throughout the year to introduce people to biathlon at its training center on Donner Summit next to Boreal. The clinics will introduce you to rifle safety and shooting skills using the Cluband#8217;s Biathlon rifles (.22 caliber). Range procedure is also taught: How to deal with your skis and poles as you enter the shooting range, how to calm your breathing and ready yourself before shooting the five rounds after each skiing lap. Novice and Improver Biathlon Clinics will be offered Sunday, Jan. 29; Saturday, Feb. 25 and Sunday, April 1.

There is a winter biathlon race scheduled at Auburn Ski Club Sunday, Feb. 26 with novice and and#8220;proand#8221; divisions. Rifles and ammunition are provided for the novice race. Participants are strongly encouraged to attend at least one clinic before racing.

There is added excitement about the sport of biathlon locally because The Auburn Ski Club has been selected to host The National Summer Biathlon Championships in August of 2012. Many area biathletes are maximizing their training to compete in these races where competitors run between shooting rounds instead of skiing. The Club will organize novice races during the Championship week too.

For more information about The Auburn Ski Cluband#8217;s biathlon Program visit http://www.auburnskiclub.org/nordic/biathlon.

and#8212; Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com