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Do you know biathlon — a competition that combines crosscountry skiing with target shooting — is the most-watched winter sport on television in Europe? It even rivals soccer (football) as the most popular sport watched by Europeans on TV. Having hosted biathlon and other Nordic sports (cross-country skiing, ski jumping, Nordic combined) during the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler Olympic Park offers summertime visitors a unique opportunity to shoot a real, .22-calibre biathlon rifle and learn more about biathlon.
The park, located in the Callaghan Valley, a 25-minute drive south of Whistler, is open from June 24 to early September, for the summer biathlon experience, trail running, mountain biking and sightseeing. You can enter the park for a nominal fee, rent electric-assist bikes and take a ride to the top of the ski jumps or to other points of interest along the park’s 75-odd kilometres of trails. At the biathlon range trained park staff are available to talk about the sport, offer a briefing on the safety features of the rifles used by biathletes, then provide guests eight years and older with the chance to test their skills in the shooting range, which is still used for competitions several times a year. You might even see biathletes during one of their summertime “dryland” training sessions, when they shoot in the range and rollerski along the park’s paved summer trails. Visit whistlersportlegacies.com.