In Which the Biathlon is the Awesomest Sport in the Olympics, Obviously

by | Feb 14, 2014 | 7 Quick Takes, Notable and Quotable, Zombies | 13 comments

Figure skating and other spinny judged sports might be getting more attention, but I am confident in my conviction that the Biathlon is really where it’s at.

Here’s why . . .

— 1 —

You have to be pretty much the perfect athlete to succeed at biathlon. Biathlon is TOUGH in every possible way. You have to have excellence in both aerobic and precision disciplines.

This is what cross country skiers look like after a race:

If a biathlete is laying down in the snow after cross country skiing, it’s to shoot at stuff. Tiny stuff that’s really far away.

— 2 —

Biathlon is also really PRACTICAL.

Apparently its origins are in Norwegian military training:

But think about THIS: in the event of a zombie attack at the Winter Olympics, who’s going to survive?

Nazi zombies (also Norweigian)

These two?

Of course not, she’d be the first one eaten, if zombies can see, even a little.

These guys?

Can’t you just imagine them frantically trying to hop away? <sigh> Hilarious.

No, you’re going to want to be one of these guys:

Shoot zombies, ski away, go get some dinner.

— 3 —

Biathlon is old school. It was contested in the first Winter Olympics in 1924.


It’s not desperately trying to be cool like all these johnny-come-latelies. “Slopestyle” is not even a word, just ask spellcheck. Saying it on television 500 times doesn’t make it a word.

— 4 —

Snowboarding “slopestyle” (I will always put this in quotes) is bad enough, but the skiing? C’mon, that’s just silly.

Every time I see one of them land a jump backwards and keep on heading down the hill, looking over a shoulder all the way down, I can’t help but think of Mater:

— 5 —

And just when you think Biathlon couldn’t get any awesomer, there are Tracy and Lanny Barnes.

The image of twin U.S. biathletes Tracy and Lanny Barnes doesn’t move in Guinness’ new Winter Olympics ad. But, trust us, the commercial will move you.
If there were a storytelling event in the Olympics for alcohol brands, Guinness might tie for the gold with Tullamore Dew.

See it for yourself here. And then watch the event today.

— 6 —

And hey, look! It’s a Winter Olympic Sport personality chart! Just figure out your Meyers Briggs Personality Type and see which Winter Olympic sport suits you best:

It is very scientific and not at all mostly randomly assigned, so you should believe it.

Oh my goodness, I get biathlon, what a surprise. If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient.
— 7 —

In conclusion:

Biathlon wins.


Hey, changing gears here, I crashed an interview that my editor was doing on Relevant Radio. You can hear the whole hour featuring Grace of Praying With Grace and my editor, Vivian Dudro, talking about kids and confession and my new book. Or you can jump to forty-nine minutes in if you want to hear why, when I answer the phone, people always ask if they can talk to my mom. Because I sound like I am six.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. Chrissy S

    I love biathlon, but I can't hate on slopestyle. Those jumps are crazy! Normal ski jumping….not sure about that.

  2. Christine

    As I watched the skiing "slopestyle" or whatever it's called last night, I was impressed with the jumping and the flipping. However, I did keep yelling, "Put on some pants that fit!!!" I can't take them seriously when they wear pants that hang down to their knees. And yet, this is what you pegged me in your personality chart. Huh. 🙂
    You make a compelling argument for the biathalon. I actually hope they show it tonight.

  3. Colleen

    Oh but Sage is soooo easy on the eyes 🙂 I would be a Snowboard halfpipe, which is super funny to me, as the first time I tried snowboarding, I took the board off halfway down the mountain, walked down and traded it in for skis. So much easier!

  4. Emily Barnes

    I'm so glad I'm not the only person who has developed a slightly unhealthy obsession with biathlon this Olympics. It is the perfect combination of weird and awesome! I vote more biathlon and curling on TV and a lot less figure skating!

  5. Anonymous

    My personality type makes me a biathlete, but you can pry my love for slopestyle skiing out of my cold, dead hands. Sure, the clothes don't fit, but there was a dude who did it all with no poles! Because he broke his hand before a competition and decided to compete anyway! It's so intense!

  6. Micaela Darr

    Oh my gosh, Kendra. You had me laughing so hard here. I'm either an ENFP or ENFJ (I've never taken an "official" test) but now I'm embarrassed to be "slopestyle," so I choose ENFJ. Nordic sounds tough.

  7. Christy from fountains of home

    I just had a conversation last night with my husband about being sad the US had more medals than Canada yesterday, because we had been beating you!, and he said it was because you took every "slope style" medal. To which I responded, "Pssshh win a medal in a real sport America!"

    And hey, my personality is hockey. Perfect. (And I looovee biathlon!)

  8. Amanda

    Okay, I totally could have pegged you as an INTJ. And yes, biathlon athletes would totally win if there were ever a zombie apocalypse.

    Apparently my sport is snowboard half pipe…except I stink at snowboarding. Tried it once, fell on my butt lots of times, not looking to ever repeat the experience. ice skating on the other hand, I can totally do that fairly competently, took lessons and everything 🙂

  9. Nanacamille

    I am a skiing traditionalist not ever having been on a snowboard. I did try some of the short ski free styling but didn't love going backwards like a Demolition Derby driver or Mater I see myself as giant sloman skier but not quite as fast as the Olympic ladies. Loved the Zombies and skaters in pink and flock of snowboarders.

  10. Theresa @ OrdinaryLovely

    Loved every part of this! (I was assigned "ski jump" but the closest thing I think I'll ever get to that is jumping off the high diving board at the pool… it's kind of close. Yeah.)

  11. Hannah

    My 2 yr old son loved the Biathlon. Thereafter, if someone asked him what he had been watching he would just yell "SHOOT GUNS!!!!"

  12. Dr Mom

    So true. I love the biathlon for its practicality- really now that is a skill that may come in handy someday. Besides I feel like I am watching part of a spy movie.

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