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The Sport Information Resource Centre

The vote on riding’s replacement at the November 2022 UIPM Congress was a pivotal moment in the history of our sport. Canada was represented by Pentathlon Canada President Rod Staveley and Executive Director Shelley Callaghan. The vote: 83% in favour of Obstacle Course Racing (OCR). Canada voted in favour.

Citing COVID and prohibitive travel expenses, the UIPM held the congress virtually. There was an animated discussion, to say the least, about OCR.

Michael Payne, former IOC Marketing Director: 
“Modern Pentathlon’s objective in this effort isn’t only to save your sport, but it must also make the Games stronger. You must be a catalyst for a Games that attracts more youth, fosters greater fan engagement, is more broadcast friendly, and more popular in a growing sea of competing events vying for consumer attention.” 

Pentathlon Canada’s President Rod Staveley:
“After the previous decision to remove riding, the UIPM needed to take the necessary next step. Obstacle Course Racing provides an exciting event that is the best option to move the sport forward.  Alberta’s Connor Chow, a recent test event champion, proves that Canada has the potential to succeed. Next up, convincing the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that Modern Pentathlon should be added back to the Olympic schedule. This is no small task.”

Riding continues up to and including the Paris 2024 Olympics. In the ensuing months, the IOC will review the UIPM’s proposal for Modern Pentathlon to be added to the Los Angles 2028 Olympics. IOC: “Boxing, weightlifting and modern pentathlon may potentially be included in the LA28 Initial Sports Programme by the IOC Session in 2023 if by then the respective IFs have demonstrated to the IOC EB’s satisfaction that they have addressed the following areas:…”

UIPM Congress also voted to amend the Competition Rules & Regulations so that Obstacle Discipline can be introduced in UIPM’s Junior (Under 22), U19 and U17 World Championships as well as continental championships starting in 2023.Junior and Youth Pentathlon competitions transition to Obstacle in 2023. 

For more on the Congress, see the two UIPM News Releases.

About Modern Pentathlon and What does a Modern Pentathlete do?

About Modern Pentathlon

Modern pentathlon, a core Olympic sport, is the only sport created specifically for the Olympics. The founder of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre von Coubertin, developed the sport as the ultimate skill-and-strength test of a soldier. Modern pentathlon debuted at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics and has featured in every subsequent edition of the Games. In 2000, the women’s competition was added. It is still the most varied and demanding multisport test in the Olympic family.

What does a Modern Pentathlete do?

Modern pentathletes compete in a four discipline (five sports) competition consisting of one-touch épée fencing (round-robin and bonus event), 200-metre freestyle swimmingequestrian show-jumping and lastly, a combined laser pistol shooting and running event (referred to as Laser Run). The final Laser Run event is incredibly exciting. Athletes are seeded in order of their total points accumulated from the three previous sports. The number of seconds each athlete starts after the highest-ranked competitor is determined by their points difference. 

The first running lap is followed by four Laser Run laps. The first athlete crossing the finish line wins. Each Run is 600 metres. At the Laser pistol range, the athlete must complete five shots on the target’s bullseye within 50 seconds. Athletes who complete five shots before the 50-second time limit start running immediately.

The relay events (men, women and mixed) include all five sports, adjusted for teams of two.  

For more information, please contact:

George A. Skene OLY
Media, Pentathlon Canada
Cell: 416-560-2571

Shelley Callaghan
Executive Director, Pentathlon Canada