It’s like winter Nascar,” Zach Hall says with a chuckle. Hall, head biathlon coach at Soldier Hollow, is talking about the thrill of biathlon competition, a mixture of cross-country skiing and precision marksmanship. The key to winning seems simple: The contestant with the shortest total time wins the race.
Depending on the division, the distance and number of shots will change. Missing a shot results in extra time or distance being added. Hall says really, the secret to winning a biathlon is breath. After miles of cross-country skiing, athletes need to steady their breath enough to accurately aim their rifle at a bullseye on a target up to 800 feet away. Hall speculates that the sport originated with Norse cavemen who made rudimentary skies while hunting, although it made history when it became a military exercise in the 1700s. In 1960 it became an official Olympic sport and in 1992, women were allowed to compete.
Soldier Hollow’s biathlon grounds were built to host the 2002 Utah Olympics. They continue to be used as a regular practice facility for worldwide Olympic athletes. February 14-17, Soldier Hollow will host one of ten IBU world cups—the first major international competition to be held at Soldier Hollow since the 2002 Olympic winter games.
For more information or to buy tickets. visit utaholympiclegacy.org/event/2018-ibu-biathlon-world-cup/
Let Midway Mercantile do your hunting and gathering.
Dining options in Midway and Heber are growing, as Park City’s influence spreads to nearby valleys. Midway Mercantile is Chef/Owner John Platt’s upscale, mountain-town restaurant, with a menu reflecting the restaurant’s historic roots and the area’s outdoorsy culture. Raclette fondue is a perfect escape from the cold. Wood-stone delicata squash pizza balances sweet and nutty and the gently grilled campfire trout dish, inspired by Platt’s childhood, holds a slight lemony zing. Finish your visit with ice cream-topped, lemon ginger pear crumble. The place could use a little polish—when one guest commented that the tacos were lacking, the response was “What do you expect for $10?” A crash course in service may be helpful.
99 E. Main St, Midway, 435-315-4151
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