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Letter from USAPM Chair Tom Shepard

Nov. 04, 2021, 3:26 p.m. (ET)

Dear Members of the United States Pentathlon Multisport community:

 

First and foremost , I hope that this note finds you and yours healthy and well. I am sure by now that you are aware the UIPM is proposing changes to the sport we all know and love. These changes, and some of the latest modifications that have been made to the sport have been made in response to a number of external pressures that the sport’s leadership has seen in the past few years.

 

The decision to make the latest modifications to the sport of Pentathlon have been principally driven by the challenges presented in Tokyo and the concerns voiced by the IOC. While I understand that this will impact our athletes, some of whom may view this positively, and some with concern, I view this as potentially a very positive development for the sport in the US.

 

USAPM must, and will, both understand the impact any proposed changes will have on our current athletes, and both listen to and submit their opinions and ideas regarding the impact of these decisions and what discipline(s) may be considered beyond the Paris Games. That being said, as Chair of our Federation, one who struggles with the awareness, relevance and commercial viability of the sport, particularly outside the window of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, I see this as a significant opportunity to move our sport forward. 

 

I greatly respect the history and tradition of the Modern Pentathlon. I have appreciated the grace, power and spectacle of the equestrian discipline of riding in our sport, and what it takes to develop synergy between rider and animal. That being said, it has limited our ability as a Federation to be more inclusive,

more broadly participated and viewed. Further, it has proven to be difficult and expensive from a fiscal standpoint.

 

USAPM will hold open calls to keep you informed and solicit your opinions to be forwarded to the decision makers at the UIPM. We should come together as a community to weigh in on future discipline options from the standpoint of what will move our sport forward. If we want to stay on the Olympic program post the Paris Olympic/ Para Games, these changes must be made. Again, we honor the hard work that you all have done to support the sport in it’s current format and appreciate that this decision, POST Paris, will impact all of us going forward. Recognizing this, I hope thatitprovides us all with a tremendous opportunity to grow the sport of Pentathlon in the US and look forward to your input and participation as we move forward.

 

Sincerely;

 

Tom Shepard Chair USAPM