Biathlon is the winter sport that combines cross-country skiing with rifle shooting. The sport traces its roots to Scandinavia and Finland, with the earliest recorded competition taking place in 1767.
While a precursor known as "military patrol" was introduced at the 1924 Winter Olympics, biathlon made its official Olympic debut during the 1960 games at Squaw Valley, Calif. Throughout history, Germany and Norway have experienced the most success in international competition, taking home the most overall medals in the Winter Olympics. Popularity of the sport has increased steadily in the United States, where it is governed by the U.S. Biathlon Association (USBA).