Simpleton’s Guide To The Winter Olympics (Cross Country Skiing and Biathlon)

Simpleton’s Guide To The Winter Olympics (Cross Country Skiing and Biathlon)

Day Three is when the Winter Olympics hots up in the cold with nine sports filling the schedule.  Up first are the ones that will last all day and not for those with a short attention span, Cross Country Skiing and The Biathlon.

Cross Country Skiing

In Norway where it originated, Cross Country Skiing is known as ‘going to the shops’. Housewives will don a pair of skis and nip out for a pint of milk and a couple of nice bits of whale and at least two world records have been broken with women trying to get back in time for the start of popular Nordic soap, Herring Street.

Cross Country Skiing

Nicknamed the ‘Forwards Moonwalk’ due to the similarities in style to Michael Jackson’s signature dance move, skiers glide over miles of snow because essentially, they don’t know how to turn around.

It is an accessible sport with the only equipment needed being two planks of wood and a couple of poles, pretty similar to the housebuilding approach in Essex.

Competitors have taken to sporting the spandex outfits favoured by the shorter Nordic pursuits but I can’t help but think that they’d be better served by wearing a big coat.

What to say: “See you in six hours.”

What not to say. “See if they’ve got any of them pickled herring crisps”.

Can you recreated it at home? Yes. Master the art of moonwalking, tweak your left ear to change the setting and suddenly you’ll be gliding forward like a pro.

The Biathlon

The Biathlon and Cross Country Skiing are very similar. The Biathlon is ‘going to the shops with guns’ or ‘London’ as it is known in the UK.

The aim of the Biathlon is to ski for a specified distance, shoot a polar bear then get home before the bear’s family catch you. Historically the second leg has always been quicker due to being wind assisted.

The shooting element can be done either standing up or lying down (prone). Lying down in the snow whilst wearing spandex can have unfortunate side effects for a gentleman and “I’ve been doing a biathlon” has become a popular excuse for men not blessed in the underpants department.

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What to say: “Is that a gun in your spandex?”

What not to say: “Have you been doing the biathlon?”

Can you recreate it at home? Depends on the supply of Polar Bears so it is possible if you live near a zoo. If you don’t, it is acceptable to substitute the bear with your neighbourhood racist fatty.


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