Congratulations to C/MWO Leong and C/Sgt Ching for their solid performance at the January 12 zone biathlon competition at Whistler Olympic Park. Leong made it onto the finalists’ podium with a 1st Place finish in the Youth Male category and C/Sgt Ching came in 6th Place in the very competitive Sr. Male category. Both Leong and Ching have competed in biathlon previously. C/Sgt Ching competed in his first biathlon event three years ago with no ski experience at all and now, with C/MWO Leong, is one of our experts at the sport.
[PHOTO: C/MWO Leong takes aim at the Jan 12 Zone Biathlon Competition at Whistler Olympic Park. Image: Capt. Millard]
For those unfamiliar with the sport, Biathlon is a test of both speed and skill which combines the endurance of cross-country skiing with the precision and control of marksmanship. The biathlon athletes use skate skis which are slightly narrower than usual (classic) cross-country skis, and fire the Austrian-made bolt-action Anschutz .22 cal biathlon rifle. The target are 4.5cm (about 1.8 inch) in diameter, located 50 meters (about 164 feet) away. At the Jan 12 event, athletes skied a loop of 2kms before stopping to shoot targets in the prone position, then they get up and ski another 2km loop and stop and shoot again. If they miss a target, seconds are added to their race time. So whoever skis fast and shoots well will get the top score. But sometimes an expert marksman can afford to be a novice skier, or an expert skier can afford to miss a few targets. That’s where strategy comes into play.
[PHOTO: C/Sgt Ching sends a round to the target at the Jan 12 Zone Biathlon Competition at Whistler Olympic Park. Image: Capt. Millard]
Participating in the cadet biathlon program is an excellent way for youth to develop physical strength, endurance, and skill as well as being an excellent way to develop personal qualities such as confidence and resilience under pressure. Leong and Ching certainly have those attributes and we’re proud of their success. If you’d like to join them, find out more about joining us on the How To Join page of this site.