Venues and Weather
Webcast Sponsors
Nations represented at the Games
Press Release
Contact Us
People at the Games
Behind the Scenes
Story Index
Audio Archive
Photo Gallery
Giant Slalom
Super Giant Slalom
Parallel Slalom
The Nicholas Cup
Nordic 3K
Nordic 1 Hour
Nordic Team Relay
Snowboarding Slalom
special events
Opening Ceremonies
Closing Ceremonies and Gala DInner
Medical Symposium on Transplantation + Sport
previous games
2000 U.S Transplant Games webcast
1999 Winter World Transplant Games webcast
1999 World Transplant Games webcast
1997 World Transplant Games webcast
TransWeb's athletics index
One at a Time, Please

[click to enlarge]

Though they
don’t actually
rest before
they start
they do at
least stop
before they

A rousing
cheer goes
up when a
skier enters
the shooting
and then an
eerie calm
settles in
as the
begins to
take aim.

[click to enlarge]

Story by Randy H. Milgrom
Audio by Bob Merion
Photography by Bob Garypie and Peter Ottlakan

When I first heard of the biathlon – a sport involving both guns and skiing – I thought of drinking and driving. A city boy myself, I know that guns don’t mix with anything.

But once I arrived on the scene, I was happy to see that at least they don't do both things at once. And though they don't actually rest from skiing before they start shooting, they do at least stop before they aim. Yet as with most things viewed upon closer inspection – and without smugness – there is much to be enjoyed about this intriguing test of two distinctively different types of skill.

Mark/Ready, Set, Fire/Go!

A man on a tractor drags a specialized grooving implement behind him all around the course, to groom the trail just prior to the start. And I had thought the grooved tracks were created by the skiers themselves, through practice and repetition! There is so much I don’t know.

Biathlon competitors are required to ski twice around the track. During the first lap, they stop at the designated shooting area and fire five shots at a target from a prone position. On the second lap, they do the same, except that this time they aim and shoot while standing up. Due to a stream of fresh snow that has blanketed the course overnight – and that begins again just prior to the race – the track is slower and more difficult to navigate than it was when some of these participants raced here on Wednesday, and I notice that competitors are fervently applying massive doses of wax to the bottoms of their skis prior to the start.

Quiet in the Gallery

Each participant gets five attempts to shoot at five small round target holes. For the prone attempt, shooters calmly unclip their bindings and step out their skis, take a deep breath, and begin to aim. A red-carpeted area is provided for their comfort. In the standing mode, most just turn themselves sideways and rotate their upper bodies into position in the direction of the targets.

A rousing cheer goes up when a skier enters the shooting area, and then an eerie calm settles in as the marksman begins to take aim. Some of these deadeyes hit 5 out of 5 – and that’s good shooting!

Happy Homecoming

I was also so very pleased to return to the beautiful scene of Wednesday’s one-hour cross-country site, and to visit with all of my new old friends from many lands who are such impressive Nordic skiers. And I made a new friend – Emilio Garrido Saez, the one-man team from Spain, who came smiling over to me to introduce himself and to thank me for the good work we do at TransWeb – and we all appreciate those kind words very much. I might also thank him for speaking to me in an English he has been fine-tuning in talks with his roommate this week – Soren Hermansen, who is also these Games’ lone representative from Denmark. (By the way – Soren was perhaps the fastest man on skis today, but his shooting was, well... Hey, Emilio, get your partner to work on his aim when he gets a chance!)

Emilio was extremely proud to tell me that this is the first time Spain has been represented in the Winter World Transplant Games. He also guaranteed me that his friends and family at home in Spain will be viewing this site, so we wish to tell them that Emilio is well indeed – feeling very strong and healthy four years after his third transplant. And he is very happy. Did I mention he is happy? He is very happy to be here – just happy to be well, and feeling good. We need more men like him on this earth.

Thank You

This was the last competition of this week’s 4th Annual Winter World Transplant Games. I will miss the fun.

Thank you all for being so friendly and patient with me and for showing me such a good time.