Modern pentathlon was introduced as a new sport with the resurgence of the modern Olympics in the early 1900s. Pierre de Coubertin (the founder of the modern Olympics) selected pentathlon to mirror the ancient Greek pentathlon, which consisted of running, javelin, discus, long jump, and wrestling. The events chosen for modern pentathlon represent the diverse attributes of a Napoleonic officer, including:
Modern pentathlon is the only Olympic event that has had the International Olympic Committee as its governing body.
Modern pentathlon is five sports combined into four events, competed in the span of one day.
Athletes move from one event to the next with a short break between. Pentathletes accumulate points in each event; the athlete with the most points at the end of the day wins.