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All About the Biathlon



All About the Biathlon
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.18

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    first-ever, unattractive, armed, accuracy, military, crossing, most-watched, penalty, patrol, tested, demonstration, fairly, meaning, entire, among, position
     content words:    Winter Olympics, United States, Biathlon World Championships, Winter Olympic, Squaw Valley, Among Europeans


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All About the Biathlon
By Ekaterina Zhdanova-Redman
  

1     Have you ever had to protect something? Maybe you've had to take care of younger siblings. Or maybe you've had to keep someone from stealing something of yours. Was it a tough job? Now imagine having to protect millions of people and an entire country with nothing more than a pair of skis and a rifle. Sound strange? It's a real job that gave birth to one of the Winter Olympics' most interesting events.
 
2     Border protection is a big job for many countries around the world. The United States has a long border with Mexico that is guarded against people crossing it without permission. Other countries have even longer borders, and some are in remote places where it's usually cold and snow is common. Many years ago, armed soldiers on skis protected these remote, snowy borders. In fact, many countries still use such protection.
 
3     Military ski patrols were first used in Scandinavian countries and Russia in the 16th century. Their use spread to other European countries by the end of the 19th century. The first competition between these patrolmen happened in 1776 in Norway, and regular contests happened between 1792 and 1818. These contests tested each competitor's ability, speed, and accuracy in skiing and shooting.

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