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Introducing: Biathlete Rankings

Since the athlete rankings I calculated for cross country skiers seem to be fairly popular, I thought I’d push up the schedule on releasing the biathlon versions.

The general methodology is the same as what I outlined here.  Biathlon doesn’t have sprint races, so there’s just one category of rankings, instead of splitting things up into sprint and distance.  (Actually, they have an event called a “sprint”, but it’s not at all like cross-country sprinting.  It’s really just a short distance race.)

Biathlon doesn’t utilize any complicated point system like FIS points (at least, not to my knowledge).  In fact, biathlon doesn’t even come under the organization of FIS; they have their own international organizing body, IBU.  In any case, that means these rankings are all based upon pure percent back.  Only “major” races are included (World Cup, World Championships and Olympics).  I’m less familiar with the biathlon racing circuit, so I’m not sure just how “elite” some other races like European Championships are.  Feel free to educate me if you know a lot about biathlon and think some races other than WCs, OWGs and WBCs should be included.

As with the XC rankings, I’ve attempted to use a slightly cleaner looking graph for them, with the North American skiers indicating with different colors.

I can’t leave this topic without emphasizing again that the point of these rankings is not the order of the athletes.  My motivation here was to include some measure of variability along with the rankings.  Otherwise, it’s impossible to tell which differences in any ranking system are “real” and which are more likely just due to chance.

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