COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. USA Pentathlon announced today that the Union International de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM), the international governing body for the Olympic sport of Modern Pentathlon, has selected Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida as the host of four major Pentathlon events, including three World Cup competitions: the World Cup Final in 2014 and 2016 and the World Cup #1 first round competition in 2015. Sarasota-Bradenton will also host the United States Pentathlon Olympic Team trials in 2016.
“The Pentathlon world is delighted to be coming to Sarasota-Bradenton, and looks forward to bringing the global Pentathlon family to the United States,” UIPM President Klaus Schormann said in announcing the UIPM Executive Board’s choice on November 24. “The United States continues to play an important role in the Olympic Movement, and we support newly-elected IOC member and US Olympic Chairman, Larry Probst in his efforts to showcase all Olympic sports in his country.”
“For the first time in over 40 years, the international championship for one of the oldest and grandest Olympic sports will return to the United States,” USA Pentathlon Executive Director Rob Stull said. “Sarasota-Bradenton’s cohesive vision and exceptional presentation secured World Cup events in each of the next three years; an amazing feat and a significant opportunity for the growth of Pentathlon in the United States and throughout North America.
“I congratulate the local organizing committee and its Chair, former Florida Secretary of State and Congresswoman Katherine Harris,” Mr. Stull continued. “Without Congresswoman Harris’ determined leadership in bringing together a dynamic local team and articulating an effective vision, this achievement could not have occurred.”
"Winning these prestigious events constitutes a seminal moment in the evolution of Sarasota and Bradenton into truly world-class communities,” former Florida Secretary of State and Congresswoman Katherine Harris said. “The Pentathlon brings together a diverse array of Olympic sports and their associated communities, giving our region a tremendous opportunity for exposure to a broad global audience.
“Sarasota and Bradenton offer a unique sense of scale to this event,” Congresswoman Harris added. “We have grown large enough to provide the necessary resources and support, but our small-town hearts will ensure that Pentathletes and fans never receive greater attention or a warmer welcome. Indeed, this cohesive community spirit is what enabled us to assemble a successful bid under an incredibly tight deadline. I wish to thank Paul Blacketter and our local organizing committee for the amazing work they performed, and I look forward to working with them to ensure the success of these events.”
UIPM selected Sarasota-Bradenton from an illustrious group of cities in bidding to host Championship Pentathlon events; including Cairo, Egypt; Frankfurt, Germany; Acapulco, Mexico; Rome, Italy; Budapest, Hungary; Minsk, Belarus; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Cheng Du, China.
The 2014 World Cup Final will showcase the top 36 male and 36 female Pentathlon athletes from around the world. Then, for the next three years, Sarasota-Bradenton will remain an essential stop along the “Road to Rio,” as some of the world’s top athletes prepare for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games.
Designed by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic movement, the Modern Pentathlon combines five sports: equestrian show-jumping, fencing, swimming, running and pistol shooting. This selection of disciplines was based upon the legendary tasks of a nineteenth century military courier, which could involve virtually anything necessary to deliver a message successfully, such as procuring the first available horse and jumping over an array of obstacles; defending from enemy attacks with a pistol and sword; swimming across intervening bodies of water; and running on foot.
Olympic Pentathletes ride an unfamiliar horse (drawn by lot) over a jumper course, fence other participating athletes with an épée sword, swim freestyle for 200 meters, and shoot a laser pistol while running a half-mile course (4 x 800 meters). General George Patton was the first American Olympic competitor in this event, competing in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics.
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