Modern Pentathlon

Short History

     The Pentathlon (consisting of running the length of the stadium, jumping, throwing the spear, throwing the discus and wrestling) was introduced for the first time at the 18th Olympiad in 708 BC and held a position of unique importance in the Games. Admiration for the ancient pentathlon was fully shared by the founder of the Modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin and from 1909 he tried to have the event re-introduced into the Olympic programme. The name derives from the Greek péntathlon "contest of five events". The addition of modern to the name distinguishes it from the original pentathlon of the ancient Olympic Games and includes laser run, fencing, swimming and horse riding.
     Modern Pentathlon becomes an Olympic sport at the 5th Olympiad in Stockholm (SWE) and the five sports are spread across five days, a format that continues until 1996 with the exception of three Games (1920, 1984 and 1992) where a four-day format is used. For the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996, the competition was a one-day event. In 1998, the UIPM received approval for women to compete in the Sydney 2000 Olympics Games. Modern Pentathlon was administered directly by the IOC until 1948, when the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) was founded by Gustaf Dyrssen (1920 Olympic Champion) from Sweden as the first President and Sven Thofelt, Secretary General, and later to be President for 28 years.

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