Biathlon Gold Won with Clutch Grenade

Russia won the women's biathlon relay at the Vancouver Olympics yesterday thanks to a clutch final leg by Olga Zaitseva in which she set aside her rifle and instead completely destroyed the targets with accurately tossed grenades.
"It's all about knowing the rules," said Zaitseva. "There's nothing in the rulebook that bans grenades or other explosives."
And Zaitseva is correct. The guidelines for Olympic biathlon, in which competitors cross-country ski and shoot rifles at targets, spells out the specific kind of rifle that can be used in great detail. But nowhere in the rules does it state that a competitor may not switch out a rifle with another weapon, such as a slingshot, grenade, or shoulder rocket-launcher.
"It was an oversight," said Pelle Hefrensson, director of the Biathlon Federation International (BFI). "And what the Russians did may not be in the spirit of the competition — especially when Olga used her last grenades to destroy the finish line area, preventing the other teams from finishing. But we can't punish them for knowing the rules. We'll just adjust for the 2014 Olympics."
Hefrensson and the BFI will likely be met with objections from the IOC.
"I guess I'm not a biathlon purist," said IOC chief Jacques Rogge. "But that was easily the most exciting biathlon I've ever seen. By a mile. Instead of writing more restrictive rules, I say we open the sport up to bigger and more destructive weapons. Grenades, bazookas. I'd like to give everyone a taser. Trying to pass me during the cross country skiing part? BOOM! Tased. So awesome."
The Russian team was not available for comment after the event, as they disappeared following the medal ceremony behind the cover of a smoke bomb.


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