When: Feb. 8, 10k sprint; Feb. 10, 12.5k pursuit; Feb. 13, individual 20k; Feb. 16, 15k mass start; Feb. 19, mixed relay (men 2-x-7.5km/women 2-x-6k); Feb. 22, 4-x-7.5k relay.
Best of the U.S. men: Last year Tim Burke became the second U.S. biathlete to win a world championship medal, taking a silver after Josh Thompson's silver in 1987. Now he hopes to be the first to win an Olympic medal. In the 2009-10 season, Burke had become first U.S. biathlete to wear the World Cup overall leader's yellow bib, but he had a disappointing Olympics, with an 18th and three 40-plus finishes.
Best of the rest: Martin Fourcade of France, who has dominated the World Cup circuit the last two seasons and has won five world titles since 2010, is looking for his first Olympic gold. Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen won two golds in Vancouver. At 20, Norway's Johannes Bo could be one of just three men younger than 21 to win a title. At 40, Norway's Ole Einar Bjorndalen needs one medal to tie retired countryman Bjorn Daehlie, a cross-country skier, for most medals in Winter Olympic history with 12.
U.S. medal chances: No U.S. man has finished higher than Burke's ninth in a World Cup race this season, and no U.S. individual higher than ninth at the Olympics, which Jeremy Teela did in 2010. A breakthrough is unlikely. Little-known fact: Biathlon and luge have added mixed-gender relays this year, joining figure skating as the Winter Olympic sports with events in which men and women compete together.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun