Pent up About Pentathlon

February 12, 2013 at 8:18 am Leave a comment

The founder of the modern Olympic Games Baron Pierre de Coubertin was born 150 years ago this year, and one has to wonder how he would feel if as is predicted one of the events he championed is dropped when the IOC meet later this week.

The IOC will decide this week which two of the 26 sports in which athletes vied for Olympic gold in London 2012 will join the other seven sports bidding for inclusion in 2020. Only two sports will be successful and the decision on which two will be made in September.

Modern Pentathlon is believed to be one facing the axe because it does not appeal on television. It is not a sport that impacts the viewer enough according to the television bosses. The question is should what looks good on television out weigh 100 years of tradition? The other sport facing the chop is Taekwondo.

The modern Pentathlon has moved with the times. It used to see all five disciplines of running, shooting, fencing, riding and swimming carried out over five days. In London these feats of endurance were carried out in one day. What is more they actually used laser guns for the first time rather than ones with bullets. Surely that would appeal to the modern generation of teenagers?

If dropped they can bid for re-inclusion in September along with Wushu, Wakeboarding, Karate, Baseball, Roller Sports, Softball, Sports climbing and Squash.

There are many traditionalists who feel that to drop the Pentathlon would be a case of selling the soul of the Olympic Games, and to do it in the Baron’s 150th year anniversary a sacrilege. Sadly there is very little room for sentiment in modern day sport where television tends to dictate everything.   

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