We were wondering what was actually in the modern pentathalon today, so we looked it up. Okay, so it’s some shooting, some fencing, a light run, a horsey ride, and a very brief dip in the pool. My friend who is training for triathalons was like, “Oh, that’s adorable!” I gather that this probably is an event for athletic dilettantes who were just all, “I did a light run, where’s my gold medal.” But I want to believe the origin is somehow much cooler — like the modern pentathalon celebrates some terrifically elaborate murder and the ensuing escape from the authorities.
My coach in high school for swimming was a pentathlete. They are some straight up crazy mofos.
So I looked it up and, according to The National Governing Board for Modern Pentathlon:
The choice of the five diverse and unrelated sports that make up the Modern Pentathlon arose out of the romantic, tough adventures of a liaison officer whose horse was brought down in enemy territory. Having defended himself with his pistol and sword, he swims across a raging river and delivers the message on foot.
Ha! Well, knowing that, I am petitioning the IOC to add the “Ocean’s Eleven” to the track and field competition.
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