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) originated 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:

  • Fitness (running and swimming)
  • Control and concentration (shooting)
  • Agility and speed (fencing)
  • Determination, adaptability and courage (riding and jumping on an unfamiliar horse).
  • 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.

Over the years, Modern Pentathlon has had to evolve and change. In response to requests for safe and sustainable shooting, the combined running and shooting Laser Run was developed in 2011. The decision to make this change was passed through the UIPM Congress by a single vote. Today it would be unimaginable to have a competition without it.

In 2021, 81% of National Pentathlon Federations, supported the UIPM decision to submit a competition format for the 2028 Olympic Games without riding. This was in response to ongoing welfare and safety concerns around the riding event and the IOC requirement to broaden the appeal of the sport by lowering the cost and increasing accessibility to appeal to young people and the general public. The new 5th discipline will be decided at the UIPM National Congress in November 2022.  Horse riding remains in Canadian and International competitions through to the 2024 Olympic Games.

Mission and Mandate

Pentathlon Canada

  • is the National Sport Organization that governs the sport of Modern Pentathlon in Canada
  • supports the efforts at the provincial level
  • develops and facilitates the individual needs of Canadian Pentathletes
  • helps our athletes attain the best opportunity and skill to be amongst the best athletes in the world
  • fosters the development and growth of the sport of Modern Pentathlon in Canada and provides the resources required to enable our Pentathletes to achieve their goals to the best of their ability within Canada and Internationally

Our Goals

  • To raise capital in order to support our Canadian Pentathletes and thereby ensure they have the financial stability needed to prepare for, and compete at, the:
    • Olympic Games held every four years
    • Pan American Games held every four years
    • Annual World Championships in every age category
    • Annual World Cup Circuit culminating in the World Cup
    • Numerous international competitions for our selected developing athletes as well as our high performance athletes held on all continents in the world.
  • To nurture the needs of each and every Canadian Pentathlete who is striving to one day become the champion on behalf of our great nation, Canada.

Governance Documents

  • Pentathlon Articles (2014)
    Download » (PDF – 0.38 MB)
  • Pentathlon Bylaws (2014)
    Download » (PDF – 0.45 MB)
  • Strategic Plan (2018)
    Download » (PDF – 0.31 MB)
  • Long Term Athlete Development (2018)
    Download » (PDF – 0.14 MB)

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