Biathlon is a sport that combines cross-country skiing and shooting in a challenging changing conditions. The first competitions in the discipline that is quite similar to Biathlon were held in 1767 in Norway. Despite such an early appearance Biathlon has not been widely spread in other countries. The development of modern Biathlon started only at the beginning of the XX century. In the 1920s and 1930s military skiing competitions were widespread in the Red Army. Athletes completed a distance of 50 km with full military pack overcoming various obstacles. Later military ski race with rifles had been changing, becoming closer and closer to sports competitions. Then there were military patrol races - team races with the distance of 30 km with weapons and shooting at the finish. Military patrol competitions were first included in the Olympic Games program as a demonstration competitions in Chamonix 1924.
On August 3, 1948 the International Federation of Modern Pentathlon was established which since 1953 began to be in charge of the Biathlon. In 1954 Biathlon was recognized as a sport by the International Olympic Committee. The first official national Biathlon championship was held in 1957 on the Ukhtusskie Hills near Sverdlovsk with the participation of mostly skiers-racers. The first national Biathlon champion of the Soviet Union was Vladimir Marinychev who won 30 km race combined with shooting. This championship created a great momentum to the development of Biathlon.
In 1958 the first Biathlon World Championship which was the first major international Biathlon competition in history was held in Saalfelden, Austria. Two years later the sport was finally included in the Winter Olympic Games Program. The history of the Biathlon World Cup began in 1978. On November 30, 1992, in the French city of Amelie-Les-Bains-Palalda it was decided to separate the Biathlon from the modern pentathlon. As a result of this separation the new competition formats emerged.
Since 1993, the official international Biathlon competitions including the World Cup and World Championships are held under the aegis of the International Biathlon Union. In 1994 the first European championship was held in Kontiolahti (Finland) two years later – the first major international competitions in summer Biathlon – the World championship in Hochfilzen (Austria).