at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic Winter Games Andy Seoul won the first biathlon medal in American Paralympic and Olympic history biathlon combines cross-country skiing with rifle marksmanship and is a Paralympic sport that is on the rise in the US the Paralympic sports of biathlon and cross-country skiing are both part of the new US Paralympic Nordic program under the umbrella of the US Olympic Committee who manages and trains a development and national team for IPC World Cup World Championship and Paralympic Games competitions around the world participants with physical disabilities who meet classification standards can compete in one of three categories standing sitting and visually impaired while cross-country skiing is a very physically demanding sport requiring strength and endurance biathlon shooting requires mental and physical control there's no question that biathlon is a sport requiring a true mind and body balance in competition by athletes Kia loop then ski into a shooting range with five shots to hit five targets with a clock running the athletes need to be fast and precise as they stop to shoot their targets and for each target missed there's a penalty loop that needs to be skied before getting back out on the course this balance of being simultaneously fast and accurate is a great challenge that creates the drama that defines biathlon and it's a big hit with many athletes including those who never thought they would be skiers or by athletes I think biathlon it's a wheelchair sport is one of the best sports out there the difference between going downhill having your heart beat so fast that you know it scares you and there's a difference between coming out here and making your heart beat fast because you're pushing yourself to the limits at endorphin rush the cardiovascular the lactic acid burn adjust I crave that and so Nordic skiing provides that in an excellent way that I've never experienced any other way you have to like to really push your body you have to be excited about knowing how far you can push your body because there will come a day when you have to push farther you have to really dig deep in there in a race and a lot of that comes from the training and conditioning wouldn't work train every day if you're gonna train you train hard but the reward can be greater than maybe a sport that's easier the travel is pretty unreal I mean I certainly wouldn't have seen anywhere near as much as I've seen without this team so I'm very very fortunate to have had that experience like if you throw a dart at a map that's basically where you're going and you get to see how that country works and what traveling to that country is like and it's pretty cool because just because you get to see a different way a different way of doing things and a different lifestyle it's just great right now I'm in a good place in life and this is the best thing that I could be doing for myself right now u.s. Paralympics invites more athletes to get involved in Nordic camps and clinics are offered year-round to give potential athletes hands-on experience with violon shooting and cross-country skiing just the beginning of a pretty serious plan developed by the Olympic Committee and the Paralympic part of the US Olympic Committee to get more high end athletes involved in the sport certain classes certain factors of athletes are able to become internationally competitive pretty quickly what we're looking for is someone that likes to train hard you want to work harder than everyone else out there that's everyday that's actually what that means to get involved at this port located biathlon or a Paralympic Nordic program in your area by going to the US Paralympic website at winter sport nordic ski or contact at USP Nordic at seven one nine 866 208 – we need you come ski with me you

U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing Program
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