MONACO: November 12, 2022 – The global UIPM Sports community has voted to secure the future of Modern Pentathlon in the Olympic Games with the formal adoption of Obstacle Discipline.
Of the 83 voting members that submitted a valid vote on adding Obstacle Discipline to UIPM Statutes on the first day of UIPM 2022 Congress, 69 of them (83.3%) voted in favour, with 11 voting against and three abstaining.
The result provides UIPM with a mandate to propose a new-look Modern Pentathlon – with Obstacle Discipline replacing Riding – to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for inclusion in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.
UIPM Congress also voted to amend the Competition Rules & Regulations so that Obstacle Discipline can be introduced in UIPM’s Junior (Under 22), U19 and U17 World Championships as well as continental championships starting in 2023.
Finally, Congress also voted to introduce new term limits for UIPM office-bearers – setting a maximum of 12 years for Executive Board Members, and a separate limit of 12 years for the UIPM President – from January 1, 2025.
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “It’s very important that our voting members today provided a strong mandate for Obstacle Discipline to be integrated into our Olympic multi-sport.
“Proposals will now be sent to the IOC Programme Commission and Sport Department, and this is very important for the Union so that we have a free hand to act for the future generations to come, and still not forgetting that we need to enable athletes to prepare properly for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.
“For the next stage of Obstacle Discipline testing, we heard a request from Africa to host test events and yes, we will do this worldwide. All different societies will be asked for input so that our new-look sport can be as complete as possible.
“The first day of the online UIPM 2022 Congress was held in a very, very democratic way, very open, with many nations speaking passionately about the issues at stake. It was fantastic to hear delegates from other continents who expressed their opinion about the future. When you listen to people who speak about the future, not only the past, it is very enjoyable for an Executive Board and also the President.
“We in the Union have to look to the future. We are not forgetting our past, our heritage, but our goal is the future and I think the transparency in how we presented this Congress should also be recognised.”
Participants in the online Congress fiercely debated the issues at stake, with advocates for the change and those who prefer to keep Riding demonstrating their shared passion for a sport that was created especially for the Olympic Games when it was introduced by Baron Pierre de Coubertin 110 years ago.
President Dr Klaus Schormann spoke in favour of the change, as did four other keynote speakers. Highlights from their addresses can be found below:
“Modern Pentathlon’s objective in this effort isn’t only to save your sport, but it must also make the Games stronger. You must be a catalyst for a Games that attracts more youth, fosters greater fan engagement, is more broadcast friendly, and more popular in a growing sea of competing events vying for consumer attention,” – Michael Payne, former IOC Marketing Director
“I attended all four of the Obstacle Test Events. I even participated on the course, and I can tell you there is nothing easy about it. It is a demanding sport for every skill of an athlete. But more importantly, I listened to the athletes who participated,” – UIPM Athletes Committee Chair, Yasser Hefny OLY
“If we are brave enough, if we are willing to work together and place our emphasis on the athletes of tomorrow…not of the past…I am certain we can give future generations a truly “modern” version of Modern Pentathlon,” – UIPM Vice President Joel Bouzou OLY
“I cannot read the minds of the IOC Executive Board, other than to say this and say it for certain: if we do not approve the proposed new format going forward, we have zero chance of remaining in the Olympic Games,” – UIPM 1st Vice President and IOC Vice President Juan Antonio Samaranch
Malta and Guinea became the 130th and 131st National Federations to join the UIPM community after their applications for membership were rubber-stamped by Congress.
Tomorrow (November 13) there will be further discussion and voting on motions proposed by both the UIPM Executive Board and National Federations.
VOTING ON MOTIONS– UIPM 2022 CONGRESS DAY 1
Does the General Assembly approve the modifications to article 2.1 of the UIPM Statutes?
97 possible votes
14 blank votes
83 valid votes
56: majority needed
69 (83.3%): Yes
11 (13.25%): No
3 (3.61%): Abstain
Does the General Assembly approve the amendment to and insertion of several articles in the UIPM Competition Rules and Regulations? (2/3)
97 possible votes
18 blank votes
79 valid votes
53: majority needed
59 (74.68%): Yes
20 (23.32%): No
Does the General Assembly approve the amendments to article 14.2 of the UIPM Statutes, the insertion of article 1.4 in the UIPM Election Rules and the changes to article 4.21 of the UIPM Rules on Internal Organisation? (2/3)
97 possible votes
16 blank votes
81 valid votes
54: majority needed
64 (79.01%): Yes
14 (17.28%): No
3 (3.70%): Abstain
UIPM (the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne) has governed the core Olympic sport of Modern Pentathlon since its formation in 1948. Today it oversees a range of multi-discipline sports (Tetrathlon, Laser Run, Biathle/Triathle and World Schools Biathlon) which form a development pyramid with Modern Pentathlon at the top.
About Modern Pentathlon
Created especially for the Modern Olympic Games by its founder, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the sport was introduced in Stockholm in 1912 and has been the climax of the Games ever since. The format has been adapted to suit the 21st century and the Modern Pentathlon now consists of Horse Riding, Fencing, Swimming and Laser Run (shooting/running).