Shooting has been a part of the Olympic Games for more than 100 years. Initially, only five shooting events were contested. Today, the Olympic shooting program has grown to include 15 total events -- nine for men, and six for women.
50-Meter Rifle Three Positions: In the 50-meter rifle three positions event, athletes do just as the name implies: They shoot at targets, located 50 meters away, in three different positions. Those positions include the prone position, in which shooters lie flat on their stomachs, the standing position and the kneeling position.
In the men's event, competitors shoot 40 targets from each position. Men are given 45 minutes to shoot from the prone position, 75 minutes to shoot from the standing position and 60 minutes to shoot from the kneeling position. The women's event does not have time limits on each position, though the shooters have just two hours and 15 minutes to take all of their shots.
The top eight shooters from the preliminary round reach the finals, where shooters are given an additional 10 shots to determine the winner.
50-Meter Rifle Prone: The 50-meter rifle prone event is only contested among male shooters at the Olympic Games. In the event, men lie flat on their stomachs and take 60 shots in 75 minutes. The top eight shooters advance to the final, where ten more shots are taken to determine the winner.
10-Meter Air Rifle: The 10-meter air rifle event is contested using a 4.5-millimeter caliber air rifle, and the rifle used cannot weight more than 5.5 kilograms. Men have 105 minutes to take 60 shots, while women have 75 minutes to take 40 shots. The top eight shooters go on to shoot another 10 shots in the final round.
50-Meter Pistol: In the 50-meter pistol event, men have two hours to shoot 60 shots. The target sits 50 meters away, and the top eight shooters advance to the final round. The final round is made up of ten additional shots, and the shooter with the highest aggregate score at the end is called the winner.
25-Meter Pistol: The 25-meter pistol event, which is contested only among women at the Olympic Games, uses a .22-caliber pistol. The women shoot 30 precision shots and 30 rapid-fire shots, and the women with the eight highest scores from the preliminary rounds shoot 10 additional rapid-fire shots. The shooter with the highest aggregate score at the end is declared the winner.
25-Meter Rapid Fire Pistol: Only men compete in the 25-meter rapid fire pistol event, which sees athletes shoot two rounds of 30 shots. The target sits 25-meters away, and the top six shooters participate in the final round. The final round consists of 10 additional shots.
10-Meter Air Pistol: Like the 10-meter air rifle event, the 10-meter air pistol event is contested using a 4.5-millimeter caliber air guns, and the shooters stand 10 meters from the target. Men take 60 shots within 105 minutes, and women take 40 shots within 75 minutes. The top eight shooters then get an additional ten shots in the final round.
Trap: In trap shooting, men and women fire at a single target as it is released. The targets, which fly as high as 12 feet, do not necessarily take a predetermined path, and each shooter is allowed to take two shots. In the qualification round, men shoot at 125 targets while women shoot at 75. The qualification round can take two days, and at the end, the top six male and female shooters move through to a final round. In the final round, the shooters fire at 25 targets to determine a winner.
Double Trap: In the double trap shooting event, two targets are released at the same time. Standing 16 meters behind the box from which the targets are released, the shooter attempts to hit both targets. In total, shooters attempt to hit 150 targets, and the top six athletes shoot at an additional 50 targets in the final round. The event is only contested among men at the Olympic Games.
Skeet: In skeet shooting, men and women shoot at flying targets released from throwing machines. The machines sometimes throw double targets and sometimes through single targets, and shooters can only take on shot at each target. In total, men shoot at 125 targets while women shoot at 75. The top six male and female shooters from the qualification round pass through to the final round, where 25 additional shots are taken to determine the winner.
Sandra Johnson is an avid Olympic fan. While working for the United States Olympic Committee and living in the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., Johnson had the opportunity to immerse herself in the Olympic Movement. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46
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