Preview: Can U.S. finally score first Olympic biathlon medal?

Tim Burke
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All events can be seen live online. TV listings can be found here.

EVENT SCHEDULE
Today – Men’s 10km sprint, 9:30 a.m. ET
Sunday – Women’s 7.5km sprint, 9:30 a.m. ET
Feb. 10 – Men’s 12.5km pursuit, 10 a.m. ET
Feb. 11 – Women’s 10km pursuit, 10 a.m. ET
Feb. 13 – Men’s 20km individual, 9 a.m. ET
Feb. 14 – Women’s 15km individual, 9 a.m. ET
Feb. 16 – Men’s 15km mass start, 10 a.m. ET
Feb. 17 – Women’s 12.5km mass start, 10 a.m. ET
Feb. 19 – Mixed relay, 9:30 a.m. ET
Feb. 21 – Women’s 4 x 6km relay, 9:30 a.m. ET
Feb. 22 – Men’s 4 x 7.5km relay, 9:30 a.m. ET

TV SCHEDULE
Today – 2:30-6 p.m. ET, NBC
Sunday – 2-6 p.m. ET, NBC
Feb. 10 – 3-5 p.m. ET, NBC
Feb. 11 – 12:05-1:05 a.m. ET, NBC
Feb. 13 – 3-5 p.m. ET, NBC
Feb. 14 – 3-5 p.m. ET, NBC
Feb. 16 – 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 3-6 p.m. ET, NBC
Feb. 17 – 1:30-3 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 3-5 p.m. ET on NBC
Feb. 19 – 1-2 a.m. ET, NBC
Feb. 21 – 9:30 a.m. ET, LIVE on NBCSN; 3-5 p.m. ET on NBC
Feb. 22 – 2:30-6 p.m. ET, NBC

MORE: NBCOlympics.com video – Focusing on the target

U.S. OUTLOOK
Tim Burke’s silver medal at the 2013 world championships has fueled hopes that Team USA can finally earn its first Olympic biathlon medal in Sochi. It’ll be a tough mission to complete, but the first American ever to lead the sport’s World Cup is capable of doing the job. Lowell Bailey and Susan Dunklee are also worth keeping tabs on.

INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK
We’ll start with 40-year-old Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, who is one medal away from tying fellow Norwegian Bjorn Daehlie (cross-country skiing) and his Winter Olympic record of 12 medals. Another top contender is France’s Martin Fourcade, a silver medalist in Vancouver that may not be this Olympics’ Michael Phelps but will be a threat for multiple golds. Last but not least, there’s Norway’s Emil Hegle Svendsen, your current world champion in the sprint and pursuit disciplines.

The women’s field features yet another Norwegian set to lead the pack in Tora Berger, who came away with the Olympic title four years ago in the 15km individual. Belarus’ Darya Domracheva (the world champion in mass start) and the Czech Republic’s Gabriela Soukalova should be among Berger’s top rivals.