How BitTorrent Does Happy Hours: The Biathlon Edition

Biathlon is a winter sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. We held one at BitTorrent headquarters. It involved less skiing.

Here at BitTorrent, we like to have parties. While some of them are brilliantly planned events, we also like to engage in impromptu “Happy Hours.” During one of those brilliantly planned events with an Olympic theme, we found ourselves talking about one of the more fringe Olympic events, the Biathlon. Biathlon is a blend of endurance and accuracy sports, combining cross-country skiing with target shooting. It has its roots in survival skills practised in Scandinavia, where people hunted on skis with rifles slung over their shoulders. Pretty good, right? However, despite it being thrilling to watch, little of the Biathlon was shown on television.


Teams at BitTorrent often host happy hours for the whole company. It’s a nice excuse to get together, while putting pressure on new people to find a fun reason to drink and celebrate. The team I work on, which creates the Bundle publishing platform, is relatively new, and we hadn’t yet hosted our own happy hour. Justin Knoll, Senior Product Manager for BitTorrent Bundle, and I couldn’t stop talking about the Biathlon over the week, and decided the only way to get this out of our system was to throw a Biathlon themed party.


Friday morning we gathered the supplies: a foam dart gun, a large cardboard box, and some black tissue paper. We created a crude reproduction of the circular biathlon target set, by cutting holes in the box and placing black tissue paper behind them, so we could register who hit the target. That morning, I stopped at the beverage store, and loaded my motorcycle up with as many international beers and liquors as it could carry. In the spirit of biathlon, we had both beers (endurance) and shots (accuracy) from 8 world countries: USA, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Russia, and the Czech Republic.

The party was a great success, although in retrospect we should have purchased a more reliable dart gun. But, after much fiddling, Aaron Cohen, a developer on Live was able to get it working reliably enough to hit all four targets in a row! Char Kuperstein on the BitTorrent Chat team and Mariam Parwez on the Advertising team also showed some stellar marksmanship. Next time, we’ll have to remember to save a beer and a shot for Eric.

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