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The biathlon we know today was added as an Olympic event in 1960, but women didn't compete until 1992.
The word "biathlon" comes from Latin and Greek and means "two contests," which makes sense since it is two events: cross-country skiing and shooting.
The size of the target depends on the shooting position of the athlete. In the prone position (that's where they lie down), the hit area is 45 millimetres, while in the standing position it is 115 millimetres wide.
The targets are 50 metres away from the athletes, whether they are in the standing on in the prone position.
Every time the athletes miss a target during the shooting portion of the event, they get a penalty which could make them lose time and a chance at a medal.