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IOC vote breathes new life into Modern Pentathlon

Feb 12, 2013, 9:42 AM EDT


While everyone was a bit shocked that modern pentathlon, which was expected to be dropped from the 2020 Olympic schedule during a vote Tuesday, was instead pardoned by the IOC in exchange for wrestling, the head of the MP’s governing body celebrated victory.

“We have promised things and we have delivered,” UIPM President Klaus Schormann told the AP after Tuesday’s decision. “That gives me a great feeling. It also gives me new energy to develop our sport further and never give up.”

Modern pentathlon probably got a boost in the IOC vote because it was effectively created by the father of the modern Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin, for the 1912 Games in Stockholm. Though, as it’s a sport that combines five disciplines necessary to be a nineteenth century cavalry soldier – running, shooting, swimming, fencing, and horseback riding – on its face it seems a little outdated.

But the UIPM has actually attempted to modernize the modern pentathlon recently, including combining the running and shooting into a single event similar to the Winter biathlon.

The sport no doubt also got a boost from the hard work and back room politics of UIPM vice president Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., who happens to be the son of a former IOC president.

“We were considered weak in some of the scores in the program commission report but strong in others,” Samaranch told the AP. “We played our cards to the best of our ability and stressed the positives. Tradition is one of our strongest assets, but we are also a multi-sport discipline that produces very complete people.”

  1. 69jaredallen69 - Feb 12, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    The IOC has proven to be dirty in the past and this reeks of bribes…if TV ratings and ticket sales were part of the criteria used to select the eliminated event how does Modern Pentathlon make the cut? I love the Olympics but I had to look up what the heck it even entailed.

  2. targhee159 - Feb 12, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    “Tradition is one of our strongest assets…”

    Really? A sport created for the wealthy elite in Europe a century ago has more tradition than a sport which was added as an Olympic sport in 700 B.C. and included since the very first modern Olympics?

    All you need to know about this decision is that the head of the MP governing body is the son of a former IOC President. That, and rich horse owners can pay bigger bribes than wrestlers.

  3. iswthunder - Feb 15, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    “We have promised things and we have delivered”

    No doubt that these deliveries came in unmarked envelopes.

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