The Biathlon: Firing Guns Under Pressure
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The Biathlon: Firing Guns Under Pressure

November 30, 2019


The Youth Winter Olympic Games have brought
me to Lillehammer and to the biathlon range. Now I can remember watching the Winter Olympics
when I was a kid and I never really understood biathlon. It seemed so arbitrary. You ski somewhere, then you shoot at some targets, and then you
ski again. It felt like a really weird combination of
events. But there is a reason for it. Because yes, the biathlon is a ski race, but it’s based, many many years ago, on military
training. You know how target shooters say it’s all
about controlling your body, it’s all about keeping your breathing regulated? Well, try keeping your breathing regulated
right after a cross-country skiing race. GEIR OLE STEINSLETT: When they come into the
shooting range they start breathing good, they’re checking
the wind flags because the wind is affecting the bullet very
much. They take out their rifle in the right position, they have to put in a magazine with five shots, and it’s a half-kilogram weight you have to
put on the trigger. Then you do this five times, and then your
rifle on your back, and then you start skiing as fast as possible
again! TS: So I’m not much of an athlete, I can just about do a 5K, my resting heart
rate’s okay, but… I’m not much compared to these guys. They’ll get their resting heart rate as low
as possible, as quickly as possible, using all sorts of techniques… I’m not sure I’m going to be quite so good
at it(!) GOS: He should be happy if he gets one hit! TS: Teach me to shoot a biathlon rifle! GOS: Lie down. And this in your shoulder. TS: In my shoulder. Yep. Take that back. GOS: And you can then… it’s ready! TS: It’s ready. Loaded gun. GOS: Now it’s a ‘bang’. Loaded gun. TS: Okay. So… aim at number 12… Well, I missed. GOS: Miss! Reloading, back and forward. You hit the metal. TS: I hit the metal. GOS: Oh, it’s a hit! TS: Ha! Okay, that’s, er… One out of five, all right. So now I would get up and go skiing. I can’t ski. So what’s actually going to happen: is I’m going to get up, and I’m going to go
for a run. Okay. [panting] That’s so difficult! I didn’t think that would have… such a great effect. But I’m genuinely… …having to time my breathing. I didn’t even hit the metal on that last one!
Wow. I genuinely didn’t expect that to be quite
as difficult as it was. I knew there’d be an effect, I knew breathing
made a difference but it was like I was lying down and the target
was on a boat bouncing up and down in front of me. And you’re just willing yourself, just stop breathing just for a minute so I can
calm down. It just doesn’t work. That’s a heck of a sport. There’s a load more videos over on the Olympics
channel and on my channel, go check ’em out, go subscribe and thank you to the Youth Winter Olympic
Games for bringing me out here to Lillehammer. [Translating these subtitles? Add your name here!]

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  1. I'm training to be a sniper in the Israel Defence Forces. this is something I do daily. yes. it is hard when you start, and it is hard to shoot under peessure. I recommend it to everyone wishing to hone their accuracy!

  2. Tom – I learned a bit of British TV culture a while ago. I notice you follow the rules in marking your videos when they have the slightest bit of promotional material….

  3. I happen to know that the biathlon originated from Finnish ski troops fighting the Soviets in the Winter War, or at least that's what I recall. Many would not know that. It might have been mentioned.

  4. Does Tom have any shooting experience? Knowing that would have informed the viewer on how difficult these shots are.

  5. Anschutz German engineering at it's best, they are the BEST rimfire rifles around. Most of the small bore target rifles are Anschutz, but I have a Brno model 4 from Checoslovakia it's great for Silhouette target shooting and shooting rabbits

  6. I remember watching so much biathlon as a teenager. You basically have a track with a shooting range, and you do either 3 or 5 laps around it, 3 if there are 2 shooting stops, and 5 if there are 4. There were 5 events called the individual, the pursuit, the sprint, the mass start, and of course the team relay race. And not many people know this but on that prone shoot (lying down and shooting) you're actually trying to hit a target about 5cm in diameter or something from 50m away. To put that in perspective that's like hitting a football goal post from the midfield line. Anyway it's really entertaining to watch and your video just made me wanna watch it again.

  7. This would be incredible stuff if they went with handguns instead. Plinking with a .22 rifle with a super light trigger is easy. Mastering any handgun caliber above .380 with a more substantial trigger weight takes skill, never mind with your heart pounding away.

  8. Oh my god!? What good reason does someone in today's civilized society need a gun for?! They should all be banished! The Olympics should take a stand on ending gun violence by removing this "sport" from existence!

  9. 1) The title is stupid. "Firing guns," why not call it shooting, or gasp, marksmanship?

    2) You thought it was arbitrary? You really couldn't figure out why northern countries would have a competition for skiing and "firing guns?" Jesus, I was a child when I figured that out.

  10. You reached about 180 BPM. Is that normal? When was a child I reached about 200 and I ended up spending couple of nights in a hospital

  11. and the insane thing is, the typical winners (say about top20 worldwide) have a hitrate at close to 90% on average over a season from about 1st of december until about the end of mars.
    The day they can hit 10/10 in the short race, and 19/20 in the long races, they usually win.

  12. In proper shooting you don't sync with breathing, you sync with heartbeat. Although in Tom's case he must be extremely unfit to get a heart-rate over 180 – which makes it quite difficult to get an intra-beat shot.

  13. Your legs need to be further apart. What are you doing on your toes? Every time your feet sway in the wind, your entire body moves. Both those things throw off your shots.

  14. This is the only Olympic sport I've ever actually dreamed of competing in. Can't believe I just found the video now!

  15. Target shooting is hard enough let alone doing a cross country ski before hand.
    I used to attend a club shooting .22 and the max score you can achieve in the discipline we did was 100 (10 targets, a bullseye being 10 points). In the 7 years I attended I managed a 99/100. And that was at resting heart rate. Christ knows how these guys manage it.

  16. We do this in the Army too. Call it a "stress shoot" which is a very concise name.

    Usually it involves us being smoked which is doing a lot of fast paced exercises. Usually stuff like sprints, pushups, burpees' flutterkicks etc and after a while of that we usually attempt to qualify. A qualifying score is 26/40 shots at various ranges. Usually I get 38 on a normal qualification range but on a stress shoot I probably get around 30.

  17. Wow dude. How did you get your heart rate up to 180 with a quick jog? I have to run really hard to get my heart rate that fast.

  18. also, I would recommend to watch this for every so called "pro quickscope players" (macros and other hacks), and see how they would do with the real gun

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