Biathlon is a winter sport that combines cross country skiing with precision target shooting. It dates back thousands of years due to its close association with hunting and winter transportation, but its development as a sport began in 1776 in Norway. The first Olympic Winter Games in 1924 included a military ski patrol race, however the full sport of biathlon was not included until 1960. Although it is still a relatively small sport in Canada, it is a very popular sport in Europe, drawing millions of spectators and viewers annually to regional, national, and international events.
Biathlon is a seemingly unlikely combination of events; it combines an aerobic activity, which requires strength, speed, and endurance, with a passive activity, which requires concentration, mental toughness and a steady hand. The combination of the aerobic activity and skilled shooting makes for a challenging and exciting event.
Biathlon has been part of the Canada Games competition for both men and women since 1991.