PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — Laura Dahlmeier was laying on the frozen ground at the Olympics, blocking out the glare of the lights from above, blocking out the bitter 10-degree temperature and the gusts of wind, and fired five shots from her .22-caliber small-bore rifle at a target 50 meters away.
The German biathlete hit all five of the silver dollar-sized targets, then tossed the gun on her back and strode off on her skis against the backdrop of a night sky.
Easy for a biathlete who won five of six events at the world championships last year, but certainly not so easy for everyone.
As if the biathlon — a sport that mixes the endurance and speed of cross-country skiing with the focus and precision of shooting a rifle — isn’t already difficult enough, it just got tougher. Biathletes at the Pyeongchang Games will have additional challenges to contend with over the next two weeks at the Winter Games, including shooting under floodlights at night when temperatures are colder and the wind gustier.