Thousands of spectators in near silence, holding their breath in unison, waiting for the squeeze of a trigger.
Erupting into a deafening roar as black targets change to white. That is a feeling very few will ever experience, but it is the thrill of being a biathlete.
As Mark Arendz points out, a single stray bullet can be the difference between winning and losing. (Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
Biathlon: a sport where distance is measured in kilometres but success by less than a millimetre. You may have skied the last 14 km in the fastest time, but victory will be judged by whether a single bullet has gone astray by less than one millimetre. It is a sport filled with contradictions, and therein lies the challenge.
To consistently succeed in biathlon, you need to master the infinitely variable intersection of high-performance nordic skiing and marksmanship.
Two very opposing sports challenge an athlete’s whole being - heart, body, and mind. It is the challenge of balancing every minute detail that has made me fall in love with this sport.
I grew up searching for the next challenge, wanting to prove something more. This addiction, if you will, continues to shape my life in ways I still don’t fully understand.