Biathlon has been a Winter Paralympic sport since 1988. Starting in 1992, athletes with a visual impairment were eligible to compete. Like the Olympic Biathlon, this event combines skiing and rifle shooting. Some athletes ski in a sitting position using a sit-ski—a special chair attached to a single ski. Visually impaired athletes have a guide who skis ahead of them and describes the ski run for them. For shooting, visually impaired athletes use a special electronic rifle. It sends out audio signals that help the athletes locate the center of each target.
The Rules of the Game
Athletes ski along a course that is divided into stages. Between each stage, the athletes stop at a shooting range and must hit targets at a distance of nearly 33 feet. The key to winning is to ski as quickly as possible and to hit every target during the shooting stages in the least amount of time.